Unplug Unused Electronics to Save

Follow some easy tips to help reduce your energy use.

Did you know many electronics in your home may be using energy when they’re plugged in, even if they are turned off? While your gaming system, coffee maker, cell phone charger and laptop don’t use much power individually, when you add it up, unused devices can impact your monthly energy use.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, phantom power can account for 5% to 10% of residential energy use. The average household can spend up to $100 a year in phantom energy costs.
While some standby power is useful—without it we couldn’t use remote controls, schedule recordings of our favorite TV shows or ask our smart speaker for the latest weather report or to play our favorite songs. Other uses, however, are not needed, such as cell phone chargers, fans, computers and printers that draw energy while plugged in but often sit idle.

Tips to reduce phantom energy

The easiest way to reduce phantom energy is to unplug your phone chargers, audio and video equipment, and other electronics when they are not in use.
You also can cut off the phantom energy being drawn from multiple devices by using a power strip and flipping the off switch. There also are specially designed smart power strips that can automatically cut off power when electronics are plugged in but not in use.
If you have some extra time and want to figure out which electronics are drawing the most phantom power, check out a free energy meter from your local library. The meters measure the voltage, electricity cost and electric consumption of household items. In addition to determining how much phantom power they draw, you also can use energy meters to identify high energy users in your home and calculate the payback for replacing older equipment with ENERGY STAR® products.
Following these easy tips can add up to savings and help you reduce your energy use.

published: Mar-01-2021