I've been on a tear of late to eliminate or minimize standby loads. This arises from data revealing that during spring and fall, when HVAC use is minimal, standby loads comprise 25%, 5 kwh / day of our home's total usage.

5 kwh / day exceeds the total usage of our entire kitchen - fridge, chest freezer, range, dishwasher, etc.

At national average electric rates of $0.11 / kwh, each Watt of standby usage works out to a buck a year, so the sneaky little loads add up fast.

An early victory came in the form of learning that the starting battery trickle charger on our standby genny consumes 30-35 Watts. A $40, 10 Watt PV panel from Amazon has allowed me to kill that load while still maintaining the genny's cranking battery.

We have 3 garage door openers, specifically Overhead Door Phantoms. They are quiet and have been relatively trouble-free. Imagine my shock at learning each uses 14.5 Watts while sitting and doing nothing.

Doing the math, the three (aptly named) Phantoms have cost us $200 in standby power since we built the house in early 2008.

Thoughts, anyone?

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Energy tracking and reporting transparency will be the "Asian manufacturers" of the EE movement.  When people are able to readily see annual operating cost, product manufacturers will be rewarded for more efficiency at slightly higher cost.  

Right now it's simply competitive disadvantage.  The consumer see higher upfront price and doesn't buy...

OK, this is my last one. There is no free lunch. You can't fix technology with more technology. We can neither create nor destroy energy or matter. Really? Solar panels for you garage door openers? Hydraulics? Sure, because hydraulics are so cost effective and maintenance free. Properly design, build and put into production a garage door opener that solves these problems so we can purchase them at a competitive price and toss all our old ones into the landfill, please.

Garage door openers sell for as low as $130.   Hydraulics can't beat that cost,  not with safety and other issues.  When the product sells for $130,  it means the retailer is probably only paying $90 for it... and the cost to produce the product is well under $40.  That would take a lot of volume production and clever design to get a hydraulic system down that low in price.

For a $130 price tag,  I can absorb a lot of vampire load cost over the years and still beat the cost of a one of a kind or small market system that sells for $250 or $300 each.

I disagree - do the math:

If a cheapie costs $130 but burns 15 Watts 24/7, the 10 year cost of ownership is almost $300, depending on electric rates.

That covers the cost of the more expensive model, not to mention the negative message sent to both the manufacturer of the cheapie (keep on trucking) and the better model (sorry, no one wants your higher quality product)

15W * 8760hr/year - 131,400 watt hours

131,400Wh/1000W/yr = 131.4 kWh/year

131.4kWh/yr * $0.12/kWh  (average US  electric price) = $15.76

$15.76 * 10 years = $157.60

No attempt to do calculation of NPV or inflation.  No attempt to use time of use pricing - many still have flat rates, the duty cycle of the garage opener is short enough that it would be difficult to model the short increase in the cost above using the average US electric rate.

Garage openers can be found for as low as $115.

I will not dispute that it would be nice to pressure manufacturers to include the standby energy use in their specs... or have an energystar rating... however  energystar ratings for devices such as ceiling fans have seen significant resistance by some manufacturers, political groups and a few home owners.   

The reason we don't see them rated or published ... is purely because most of the population doesn't care.   That may change with California doing deep dives in nearly all appliances... and the EPA / DOE are both looking at the misc electrical loads more closely.

It would not meet building codes and it could be safety hazard.

Too many small kids (and pets) were suffocated by garage doors prior to the 80's.  They must detect and re-open if they do not close completely.  Using a switch to turn it off - means that the door could come done on a small child - and be turned off before it has a chance to re-open.

Yup,  the parents should check -- but that argument is weak - and unfortunately lots of small kids are run over in cars because they are easy to miss.  No one wants that coming back to haunt them... if you make the change yourself - not a problem... but if you make it on someone else's house - you would assume the liability if it were ever to happen...     three way switch seem simple until the implications are included.

For all the cost to modify or fix the problem --- it really probably is just easier to add it on a watch list, look for vendors that make efficient models -- and when a opener fails - replace it at that time.  Payback for other ideas - unless you are able to do them yourself and/or assume the risk are generally too long...

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