Leaving appliances and electronic devices plugged in will drain a significant amount of energy, even if they are not in use and the power is turned off. This is called “phantom” power, and it accounts for up to 10% of your household energy use and can cost you approximately $150 a year in electricity1. This ghost power is sucking money from your wallets and energy from power grids. Here are five easy ways that you can fight the phantoms and avoid unnecessary costs on your next energy bill.
1. Unplug those chargers
Once your computer, phone and other devices have finished charging, make it a habit to unplug the chargers. Consider creating a charging station using a power bar with multiple outlets, making it easier to switch off the entire strip.
2. Install timers
Plug household devices into a power bar with a “smart strip” or timer that shuts off power while you are sleeping or at work. Timers allow you to manually set on and off times, while “smart strips” detect changes in electricity currents, automatically powering on and off devices.
3. Group appliances
Plugging bundled devices into the same power bar will make shutting off the appliances or electronics commonly used together much easier. Think “computer, monitor and printer”, or “toaster and coffee maker”.
4. Disconnect idle clocks
You might need an alarm clock every morning, but consider unplugging those in spare bedrooms. Clocks are especially energy draining as they require constant power, so leave them unplugged until you have guests visiting.
5. Look for the ENERGY STAR® label
The next time you are shopping for new appliances or electronics, look for products certified with the ENERGY STAR® label. These products are more energy efficient and typically have power saving features, even in standby mode.