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The average home has more than 20 phantom loads that can add up to $200 to your electricity bill each year. Phantom load is the amount of electricity that's being drained by equipment when it's off or in standby mode. Devices that have a phantom load are sometimes called “vampires.” These devices have a hidden energy cost of which most people are never aware. Nationally, phantom loads make up about 6% of our energy consumption. Any device with a clock display, a remote control or instant on capability requires standby power. Here are some tips to minimize phantom load:
Unplug electronic devices such as cell phones and mp3 players when they are fully charged. The transformers used to charge electronic devices are 60 to 80% inefficient when plugged in, so it is especially important they are unplugged when not in use.
To save time, put these devices on a power strip that can easily be switched off.
Place your computer on a power strip with surge protection, and switch the power strip off when not in use for an extended period of time, such as when you go to bed.
Buy ENERGY STAR® appliances to reduce your phantom load for devices that would be impractical to turn off. The amount of standby power can sometimes be found with the product specifications in the owner's manual. Be sure to consider if unplugging an appliance could erase personal settings or other data that has been programmed.
Lead by example. If you start turning off your devices, maybe your roommates or family will, too.
Learn more at VectrenLiveSmart.com
Watch a short video that explains how to prevent phantom loads from adding to your energy bill.