Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Vampires: The Next Target?

Rather timely subject, for me anyway. I was just talking to my wife's cousin, Lorraine, about the these critters this weekend. I'd never heard them referred to as "vampires", though.

There's a move underway in Sacramento to require labeling on "vampires"- appliances that use power even when they're not being used. The labels would inform consumers how much power the appliance uses when simply plugged in but not operating.

I'd certainly be interested in such information as I'd heard some time ago that many appliances, like TVs, VCRs and such, use power whether turned on or off. Before I left for San Francisco this last weekend, I'd actually considered unplugging my TV and VCR in hopes of saving a few cents on my utility bill.

I decided not to, the main reason being I didn't want to have to re- set the clock on the VCR. Now THAT'S a hassle.

One thing I did do, though, was leave my FAX machine unplugged while substituting the Power Supply I was taking to Frisco with me with a surge protector. Why leave something plugged in when I rarely use it?

I do need to cut my utility bill as much as I can, but do I support this proposed legislation? Sounds like a good idea, but no. Manufacturers of appliances can provide power usage info if they want to. It might be a good sales idea, you know: Our television uses half the power when not operating than our competitor's does....

Aside from that, it might well be another one of those costly hassles that business has to go through for no particular purpose since few people read the labels, although I'd be certainly one who would compare power usage when deciding on one appliance over another.

I say let the free market provide and keep the government out of it.

6 Comments:

At 9:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You assume the free market will provide.

 
At 10:09 AM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

Well, isn't labeling essentially a free market alternative to more overt regulation? How can the free market provide if the consumer is ignorant of the criteria for choice?

Some consumers do read the ingredients lists on food products. I look for sugar content in cereals (sometimes they put in 4 different types of sugar to avoid listing sugar first on the list), and in ice cream you can generally tell the quality stuff if cream is first on the list. I wouldn't have a clue without the label.

 
At 11:48 AM, Blogger Bitxxx said...

Gotta watch out for those power bricks. Everything has them these days and they constantly suck power.

 
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