Stop Phantom Loads

Did you know that electric devices can continue to use energy even when not be in use?  When equipment is plugged in and left idle, power is drawn from the outlets and leads to increasing energy waste. This energy waste is also referred to as “phantom” or “vampire” energy.

According to the Organization of Economic Cooperation, stand-by power accounts for between 3 and 10 percent of energy costs. Harvard University and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory report that about 1% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions result from phantom energy loads.

graphic of phone charging

CEC provides the following tips for saving energy and reducing the cost of standby power draws.

  • When possible, unplug all electronics that are not in use, especially those that you do not use often.
  • Consider powering down devices rather than leaving them on standby mode for extended periods.
  • Power strips can aid efficiency as they can turn off all devices that are plugged in with flip of a switch.
  • Smart power strips use advanced technology to turn off the power from idle electronics automatically.
  • When shopping for new electronics, invest in Energy Star products, which have a lower standby rate of energy consumption.
  • By using an electronic timer, you will be able to reduce the standby load on items used only in select periods of the day, such as coffee pots.