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Phantom energy

Banish energy phantoms from your home.

Many household electronics, devices and appliances with programmable features, clocks and timers draw power all day, every day, when they’re plugged in but are turned off. This is known as standby power.

Some of the more notorious energy phantoms that draw the largest amounts of standby power are televisions, satellite and cable boxes, stereos, DVD and Blu-Ray players, game consoles and garage door openers. The average home has 20 or more energy phantoms.

Their use of standby power wastes energy and costs you money. While the power drawn may seem small, it can add up to a big expense over time. In fact, the average customer spends up to $100 each year on phantom energy loss, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

While it may not be practical to eliminate all energy phantoms, it is possible to reduce their number with these simple tips:

Audit your home to find the phantoms.

Knowledge is power (and saves you money). Start by locating all of the electronics in your home that draw phantom energy by going through each room of your house. Generally, rooms with the most electronics are the kitchen, living room and home office.

Use a smart power strip with on/off switches.

Plug several electronics from your living room or home office into one smart energy-saving power strip. When you turn off the power strip, all of the items plugged into the power strip are turned off and won’t draw energy.

Unplug electronics.

Unplug electronics that aren’t being used, such as phone chargers, toaster ovens and blenders to reduce phantom energy use.

Replace older, inefficient appliances with ENERGY STAR® products.

Many ENERGY STAR products draw less standby power than other comparable products.

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Fight the phantoms

Read and share our Fight the Phantoms eBook to help others banish wasteful energy use.