|Bush Appoints Energy 'Vampire Slayer'|
President Bush has named Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham to be America's official energy "vampire slayer," sending him forth on a mission to rid the federal government of electricity wasting appliances.
Speaking to a gathering of Energy Department employees on June 28, 2001, the president directed Abraham to lead by example in pushing for strict federal standards regulating "vampire appliances," electrical devices like computers and televisions that consume electricity even when not being used.
Vampire electrical devices in "stand-by" mode constantly draw small amounts of power while plugged in even though their main switch is turned off. They can also consume as much as four percent of all the electricity used in an average home. "If we multiplied the vampire devices' energy consumption across the country, we're talking about 52 billion kilowatt hours of power a year, or the equivalent of 26 average-size power plants," said President Bush.
President Bush stated the he would soon be issuing an executive order directing federal agencies to purchase appliances using only one-watt in "standby" mode, instead of the four-to-seven watts currently used by vampire devices, wherever cost effective.
"I say wherever cost effective, because I don't want the manufacturers of the new products to feel that they've got an easy market when it comes to the federal government. We will purchase the new technologies, but we will make sure we do so without getting gouged," added the president.
Demanding that his administration take the lead in energy conservation, the president stated,"We must have -- my dream is to have desktop computers all across our government with the latest savings devices... Saving devices that say, when the computer is off or on standby, the energy supply being used is reduced by sevenfold. That's necessary. It is the right step for our federal government to set the example."
President Bush also recommended that the one-watt standard to be observed by the federal government also be required for appliance manufactures to earn the "energy star" endorsement awarded by the Department of Energy and the EPA. "The energy star is an important marketing tool, because it says to energy-conscious consumers, this product makes sense; this product incorporates the latest technology to conserve energy; this product is the most efficient use of technology that we can promote," said the president.
To further promote energy conservation, the president announced that $85.7 million in federal grants would be made available to universities and private industry to speed development of fuel cells, advanced engines, hydro technology and more energy efficient consumer appliances.
"Conserve your energy. That's the message I'm sending to Congress today," stated president Bush.
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