Phantom energy

Energy phantoms steal your money

Many of your appliances actually are on when they're off. These sneaky phantoms live inside many of your appliances and quietly use energy even when the appliances are not in use. Eliminating these phantoms will save you money on your energy bills.

What are these phantoms?

Energy phantoms include common household appliances that use timers or memory chips to keep everything programmed correctly. Look for appliances with clocks, such as microwave ovens, DVD or CD players, stereos or coffeemakers, as well as televisions, computers, monitors, printers and game consoles that turn on without needing to warm up. Also on the list are box-like transformers for electronic devices, such as chargers for wireless phones, MP3 players or digital cameras.

How do phantoms work?

In order to keep features like clocks and timers working or to have appliances ready to go when you turn them on, these phantoms need electricity to stay on, even if what they run is off.

As long as these appliances are plugged in, the phantoms are using electricity.

How much are phantoms costing me?

The amount of energy each phantom uses may be small. Put together, the energy use can be high.

There may be 20 or more phantoms living in the average home. If they're all plugged in, it could cost the homeowner hundreds of dollars each year in energy costs.

Reduce phantom energy

While it may not be practical to eliminate every one of them, it may be possible to reduce their number.

  • Unplug the charger after your electronic device is fully charged.
  • Put some of your electronics such as stereos or computers on a power strip that can be turned off when not in use. There are now smart power strips available that can completely power off appliances automatically.

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