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 Home > News & Policies > June 2001

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
June 28, 2001

Bush Administration Takes the Lead on Energy Conservation

Presidential Action

Today at the Department of Energy President Bush will announce specific steps that his Administration is taking to increase energy conservation. The President will announce:

  • $77 million in federal conservation grants, which, when joined with industry contributions, will total $108 million for new research to accelerate the development of fuel cells, advanced engines and hydrogen technology for tomorrow?s cars and buildings. The new grants come on the heels of the $18 million in conservation grants that Secretary Abraham recently announced. The grants are designed to pioneer new ways to produce power and moving vehicles that will lead to dramatically lower emissions and squeeze more power out of a unit of fuel.
  • That the federal government will lead a major conservation effort to bring American homes, government and industry to a new energy saving standard for ?vampire? devices ? machines that drain energy even when not in use.
  • The federal government is the largest single user of energy in America and should set the standard for conserving energy. All Americans as individuals can also help conserve by shopping for the most energy efficient appliances in the marketplace.

What Are Energy "Vampires?"

  • Vampires are standby power devices that draw excessive energy even when not in use.
  • Vampires typically consume anywhere from 4-7 watts per hour.
  • Vampires can be found in almost every household appliance including televisions, telephones, fax machines, washers, and dryers. Vampires make sure that the appliance is ?instantly? functioning when you want to use it; they are also used to maintain memory functions in these devices. Some Vampires, such as cell phone chargers, draw energy when plugged in even if they are not connected to the device they normally charge.
  • Approximately 26 power plants are needed just to power these energy vampires.

What are "Vampire Slayers?"

  • "Vampire Slayers" are energy-efficient standby power devices that use one watt or less of energy per hour.
  • If more devices used vampire slayers, we could save billions of kilowatt-hours per year without sacrificing performance.
  • If the nation as a whole moved to one-watt standby power devices, we might need 20 fewer power plants to power these devices than we do currently.
  • Vampire slayers often cost as little as 50 cents more than the inefficient energy vampires, and can pay for themselves through reduced energy bills.
  • In the aggregate, households across the nation would save from $1 to 2 billion on their energy bills if they adopted appliances that utilize vampire slayers.

What will the Bush Administration Do to Further the Use of Vampire Slayers?

  • The President will direct procurement officers to purchase -- whenever practicable and cost-effective to do so --off-the-shelf appliances and devices that use energy-efficient standby power devices. This directive will further ensure that the federal government is doing its part to reduce unnecessary energy use. The federal government is the largest single user of electricity in the U.S. and the President wants to take the lead on conservation.
  • The President will direct DOE and EPA to include within the "Energy Star" program a 1-watt standard for standby power devices, where that standard would be technologically feasible and economically worthwhile for consumers. The Energy Star label is the symbol that alerts consumers to their best energy value in the marketplace. Consumers will be able to make more informed decisions about the savings that could be reaped.
  • The President will challenge American businesses, both in their manufacturing decisions and in their purchasing decisions, to look to the vampire slayer as a means of conserving energy and saving money. He also will direct the DOE to develop a process to track industry's move to a 1-watt standard, to recognize companies that do so, and to hold workshops where technical issues could be addressed. Businesses can follow the Administration's example and save energy and increase their bottom lines.