Tag Archives: Energy

Beware of Voltage Vampires

110626-vampire

Just as the vampire sucks your blood, machines are sucking the energy out of your house when appliances are turned off. (Photo courtesy of zdnet.com)

This Halloween as you await the arrival of the traditional ghosts, goblins, and witches at your front door, be sure to check for the “monsters” living with you!

Who knew that power could be so spooky?  I love the term “phantom energy” but I personally feel that the term “vampire power” is more appropriate because just as a vampire loves to suck your blood, vampire power is constantly sucking away energy and draining money from your pockets.  These are just a couple of the terms used when referring to electrical products that cannot be switched off completely without being unplugged, such as your television, cell phone chargers, cable box, coffee maker, computers, etc., because these devices are created with little light bulbs, sensors, or other features that keep working as long as the device is plugged in.

You may think that the amount of electricity that gets used up in these situations is too small to worry about, but it does add up.  Let’s try to minimize these voltage vampires and phantom power loads by following these tips:

How to put a stake through the heart of these energy thieves:

  1. Pull out individual plugs where possible for example – unplug your cell phone charger or toaster when you aren’t using it.
  2. In areas near computers and home entertainment equipment with lots of components, plug everything into one power strip – just make certain you get one with surge protection, and when you’re done for the night or weekend, flip off the illuminated switch.

Slaying voltage vampires in your home is a good way to save a few dollars on your electric bill, and it also helps cut down on everyday emissions lessening your carbon footprint.  It’s a little bit of extra work, but every little bit helps and Mother Earth will thank you.

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Filed under Cleveland Public Power

Beware of “Phantom Energy” and “Vampire Power”

Beware of "Vampire Power"

Beware of “Vampire Power”

Just in time for Halloween, we thought we’d share with you ways in which you can eliminate the “fright” when viewing your monthly power bill?

Who knew that power could be so spooky!  I love the term “phantom energy” but I think “vampire power” is more appropriate because vampire power is constantly sucking away energy and draining money from your pocket.  These are just a couple terms used when referring to electrical products that cannot be switched off completely without being unplugged, such as your television, phone chargers, cable box, coffee maker, computers, etc., because these devices are created with little light bulbs, sensors, or other features that keep working as long as the device is plugged in.

You may think that the amount of electricity that gets used up in these situations is too small to worry about… but it does add up.  Let’s try to minimize these voltage vampires and phantom power loads by following these tips:

How to put a stake through the heart of these energy thieves:

  1. Pull out individual plugs where possible.
  2. In areas near computers and home entertainment equipment with lots of components, plug everything into one power strip – just make certain you get one with surge protection, and when you’re done for the night or weekend, flip off the illuminated switch.

Slaying voltage vampires in your home is a good way to save a few dollars on your electric bill, and it also helps cut down on everyday emissions lessening your carbon footprint.  It’s a little bit of extra work, but every little bit helps and Mother Earth will thank you.

Leave a comment

Filed under City of Cleveland, Cleveland Public Power, Community Outreach, Energy Efficiency

Tips on Winterizing your home!

The sun is shining today and the temps are chilly but not too cold, so why not take this opportunity to begin or complete the task of winterizing your home. While there are some common sense tips to prepare for winter and save money, we thought we would go to the ultimate source for information – the United States Department of Energy (DOE).

If you aren’t aware, DOE has a website filled with tips on how to conserve energy year round. Today we’re going to take a look at the tips offered for fall.

Looking to get rid of those pesky drafts coming in from your windows? Well one of the first steps would be to install storm windows – interior or exterior. DOE explains on this site,  the installation of storm windows will “reduce heat loss by 25-50%” which means more heat inside the house.

To further ensure that heat is not escaping through windows you should also check the caulking around the frame.  Information on the importance of weather stripping and caulk can be found here.

Now you may also find leaks around electric outlets, pipes, gaps around the chimney and even in the area around recessed lighting. The key in these areas is to apply more insulation. You might wonder how you are going to find these leaks. Well the unsophisticated method would be to observe the drapery or curtains for movement from wind outside, or hold a piece of paper up to the window to see if it moves from air coming in. The best methods however, may call for an expert. More information on these techniques can be found here.

It is also important to check your furnace filters and to have your furnace serviced if you believe there is a more serious problem. The DOE offers information on furnaces and boilers on its website.

These are just some of the tips offered by the Department of  Energy, and to find more tips on saving energy, just visit this site.

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Filed under Community Outreach, Customer Service

Delegates return home from Far East with positive outlook

The Cleveland delegation visiting the Far East returned on Saturday. After a long week of visits to manufacturing plants and observing the different processes for transforming waste into energy, Cleveland Public Power Commissioner Ivan Henderson reports, “The consensus is that we learned a lot and believe that this is a real opportunity for the City. Both technical and economic development opportunities appear real and sound.”

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Filed under Economic Development, Municipal Solid Waste to Energy, Renewable Energy Sources

Visit to Shanghai bodes well for potential economic development

The group spent the morning at a waste to energy facility in Shanghai that incinerates MSW to fire a boiler and produces electricity. Their process was the first of its kind in China and is  amazing yet it has several problems our project would overcome. The smell there was offensive

Panoramic view of Shanghai skyline.
Panoramic view of Shanghai skyline.

and on a hot muggy day it can be overpowering.

After that we met with a number of companies that expressed interest in locating in Cleveland. Discussions with these companies confirmed the project’s economic development aspirations

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Filed under Economic Development, Renewable Energy Sources

The Road to Shanghai

It was an uneventful flight from Japan to China today. Once in China, and on the road to Shanghai, we witnessed a couple unusual sights that reminded us of how different life is here. Nonetheless, we were awed by the endless high rise buildings that are home to the 16 million people here. We had a late introduction and dinner meeting with a boiler and a turbine manufacturer and also the design engineers of the waste to energy plant we will visit tomorrow. That plant does not gasify the waste, instead it incinerates it. What we will see relevant to our desired process is the sorting steps they use at that facility and the production of syngas from MSW and the production of power from that syngas.

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Filed under Economic Development, Municipal Solid Waste to Energy

Delegates close out visit to Japan

As the delegates begin to wrap up their time in Japan, they visited the Vendor Headquarters and resumed the Q&A sessions. They have found the management team and president of the company to be very receptive to the many pointed questions, and impressed with the types of questions being posed. In closing remarks they were reminded of an inspirational saying that in essence urged you “to be ready to move forward when opportunities arise and not to give up, instead work through any obstacles you may face.” The next activity was to visit a customer that uses the gasification system. Housed at this site is a state-of-the-art medical lab, which uses the gasifier to dispose of expensive medical waster. The operation was impressive as was the facility layout. Located in a residential area, the facility did not seem out of place – and if you did not know what it was, you would not have known it was there. The delegates videotaped the tour of the facility while it was in operation, giving a first hand view of the technology living up to its reputation. The day ended with a meeting at a possible brick making company, and candid conversations about what had been seen thus far.

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Filed under Economic Development, Japan, Renewable Energy Sources