If you’re like most people, you have a household full of gadgets and appliances that use electricity. Your TV, computer, and DVD player are among them, to name a few. Even though you’re not using them, appliances continue to draw electricity even when they’re turned off. This is called phantom energy, and it can cost you $300 or more each year.

The average U.S. household spends between $200 and $300 per year on electricity that goes unused. That’s more than your average utility company charges for energy that gets used! So why is this energy wasted? You have appliances and devices in your home that continuously draw power even though they’re not on. These include microwaves, TVs, computers, DVRs, and home theater systems. Working together, all these phantom energy hogs can collectively gobble up hundreds of dollars worth of electricity each year.

Electricity costs money, and the more you use, the more you pay. But, did you know that even when you aren’t using electricity, you’re still paying for it? That’s right, and it’s called “phantom energy.” Phantom energy is the term used to describe the energy that is used by plugged-in devices that are switched off but still plugged in to an outlet. This energy is used to power the device’s internal functions, and though it’s not much, the cost adds up.

word-image-3809 word-image-3810 Written by: Jason Wuerch Last update: 14. May 2021 Disclosure: This article may contain affiliate links. We may receive a commission if you click on it, but there is no additional cost to you. For more information, please read our privacy policy.

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If, like me, you often use electronic devices at home, you’ve probably noticed the high cost on your electric bill. Not to mention that it is unfair for energy suppliers to raise prices at certain times of the year, such as summer. So you use more energy because it’s summer and you’re home more often during holidays like Memorial Day and Independence Day. Then the heat starts and you have to constantly turn up the air conditioning. In addition, your electricity bills will also be higher. Of course, use the utilities more. In addition, prices are higher in the summer. But there’s another reason why your score is higher than it should be. The hidden cause: Phantom energy. What most people don’t know is that most of these costs are incurred when these devices are used , not . Phantom power is a term used to describe the energy drawn from electrical outlets when appliances are not in use. In this article, we’re going to talk about using phantom power and how it’s costing you hundreds of dollars a year. Save this article as a bookmark for future reference. Let’s go.

What is phantom power?

Let’s see what it is, shall we? What is phantom power? As long as your electrical or electronic device is plugged into the outlet, it can continuously draw power from the outlet. While this energy is not as great as when the device is in use, it can still be quite high. The best example is your refrigerator. It’s rarely used, but the constant buzzing it makes lets us know it’s at least using some energy to keep your food cold. Most electronic devices are not very noticeable in terms of energy consumption because they behave like a ghost and do not produce noise or light. Your TV, cable TV, game consoles, or even our iPhone charger continue to draw power even when not in use. Let’s not forget other things we don’t necessarily think about, like the garage door, dishwasher or washing machine. As long as they are connected to the mains, they will continue to consume electricity, increasing your electricity bill. How much they actually consume is another matter.

How much energy and money is wasted by phantom power?

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBL) conducted a study that found that the average household has 40 products that constantly consume energy. Appliances that are switched off but permanently connected to the mains account for up to 10% of energy consumption, and this figure has only risen since a 1996 study. The devices that consume the most energy are usually the remote control (television), a permanent display (alarm clock) or some kind of charger. Older devices usually don’t consume as much power in standby mode because they don’t have to. This also applies to appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines without digital clocks that are set by hand.   word-image-9327 word-image-9329 Many new televisions are supposed to be energy efficient and use less electricity, but it is still difficult to determine how much electricity a television actually uses without a power meter. They cost about $25. Is it worth buying them? Consider example To illustrate: If a device uses 1 watt of energy per day, that’s about 9 kilowatt hours (kWh) per year. Let’s take the example of a VCR. They are usually on 24 hours a day and a digital clock is displayed on the front panel. On average, they consume 13 watts per day. Multiplied by the two figures above (9 kWh x 13 watts per day), we conclude that the VCR consumes about .117 kWh per year. After researching the various costs of the power companies, I found that it costs an average of 11 cents per kWh used, making the total cost of using your VCR $12.87 per year.

What is the output?

When I look at this amount, I conclude that it is not a lot of money, even though I am very frugal. When I count the 20 to 30 other devices that are on standby in my house, I really start to worry. Assuming I only have 20 devices plugged in all the time and onlyconsume half the energy used by the VCR, I still spend about $120 a year extra. What if you have 30, 40 or even 50 connected devices? This can add up considerably and some appliances use more energy than others. I counted all the devices in my house and found out that there were about 70 in total (I have a lot of neighbors in my house). That means I can spend300 to 400 dollars a year on phantom power. Energy Star estimates that the average family spends just over $100 a year on this so-called phantom energy. While this may not seem like much, it is always best to take an accurate measurement using a kilowatt meter or by unplugging the unit when not in use. I really like saving money, but I hate saving money when it takes you a lot of time. Therefore, here are some quick and easy ways to reduce your energy costs without much effort. If you want to know exactly how much energy your devices consume, Standy Power has created a summary table with a list of the most common devices and their energy consumption.

How to fight phantom power

Now that you know that phantom power can be a big waste of energy and money, here are some steps you can take to reduce your phantom power consumption:

  • Unplug electrical appliances when not in use.
  • Use of socket strips
  • Try the sleep mode
  • Use energy-efficient products

Network disconnected

Do not forget the phantom power supply and make changes to reduce its consumption. It starts by pulling out the power cord. Unplug the unit when not in use. It’s a behavioral change where you change the way you think. It may take some practice, but if you persist, you can make this change a habit and it will become routine. Get in the habit of turning off your computer when you’re not using it, or unplugging it after you make toast in the morning. Simple changes that can save you a lot of money every year. Here are some examples of devices that should be unplugged in your home, including those mentioned above:

  • Microwave
  • TV
  • Game console
  • DVD player
  • MP4 Player
  • Fax machine
  • Shredder
  • Printer
  • Lamps
  • Light
  • Atomizer of essential oils
  • Small kitchen appliances such as toasters, blenders, coffee makers, kettles, etc.

It is more logical and faster to use extension cords. This is the next option to reduce phantom power consumption.

Use sockets

I highly recommend connecting some devices to an extension cord. ‘ So if you want to unplug each device, you can just turn off or unplug the extension cord instead of unplugging each device individually. In the office, connect the computer, printer, paper shredder and fax machine to an extension cord. In the bedroom you connect the cable TV, internet modem, TV, DVD player and game console. In the kitchen you connect the toaster, bread maker, panini machine, coffee maker and microwave. These are just a few examples of how extension cords can be used throughout the home.

How does the extension work?

Circuit breakers are designed so that they do not consume power when not in use. It’s on sale on Amazon for only $6. For those who want to take it a little easier, but are willing to spend a little more, there are smart extenders that can set up a master device where power to devices not in use (e.g. speakers, keyboard, monitor, etc.) is automatically cut off, but the master device (e.g. computer) continues to receive power. Of course, some devices must be left on, for example. B. the refrigerator, but at least you can turn off the most obvious appliances. These are usually the ones that have some sort of light display or digital clock.

Rest position

If your device has a sleep mode, use it. A z. B. Set a sleep timer to prevent falling asleep with the TV on and keeping it on all night. Most TVs have this feature, but many people rarely use it. When you sleep with the TV off, you sleep more soundly and save energy and money by not turning the TV on. Use the remote control (or the TV’s control panel) to switch to standby mode. Set the sleep timer and you’re good to go. If you’re tired and think you’ll fall asleep in an hour, set it for an hour. If you want the TV to turn off earlier, set the sleep timer to a time that suits you. Be careful.

Energy-efficient products

Choose products with the Energy Star label. They consume 50% less energy than less efficient brands while still delivering the same high performance. This may include the purchase of a television, a washer and dryer, other appliances or electronics. Try this.

7 products that help you save energy

In addition to developing good habits to save money and reduce your phantom energy consumption, consider investing in these 7 products that will help you save energy on autopilot.

1. Intelligent extender

This has already been said above, so I won’t repeat it. Ultimately, it is the easiest way to control your energy costs, which can save you a lot of money. This smart extender from Amazon, with voice control via Alexa and Google Home and 4 USB ports, costs $27. There are even cube extensions that fit on the table, like this one, which costs $25.99. It rotates and you can control the power of each part of the cube. Plug in your laptop, mobile phone, printer, tablet – everything you need is at hand. It can be placed on a table or drawer for easy access to cables. Very practical for the home office or workplace.

2. Energy-saving lamps

Jump on the wave. Energy saving light bulbs have been around for many years. Do you use them? The three-pack costs about $10 and saves about 80 percent energy compared to similar bulbs. With a lifetime of 10,000 hours, this lamp leads the way in energy efficiency, longevity and brightness.

3. Smart Plug

Have you ever wondered if you could control the lighting in a room with your voice? This is now possible thanks to smart plugs! How do the smart forks work? These things are the coolest things ever. They work with Alexa and Google Home, no hub needed. Use voice commands to control anywhere. They can be used not only to turn lights on and off without having to do so manually, but also to control them:

  • Household appliances
  • Lamps
  • Christmas lighting
  • Coffee machine
  • And more!

It is very easy to install and safe to use. Don’t wait until your birthday or holiday to treat yourself. Get these smart plugs on Amazon, in a 4-pack for less than $27!

4. Intelligent charging station

The smart charging station works as follows: it cuts off the power to your device once it is fully charged. This benefits both your electricity bill and your appliance. Did you know that if your phone continues to charge after reaching 100%, it will be subject to increased stress and wear and tear? Buy a smart charging station so you don’t have to worry about when your device is fully charged and save electricity. This smart charging station features 10 USB ports, non-slip padding and LED backlighting. It is very elegant, stylish and of course functional. Go check it out, the price is less than $50.

5. Intelligent devices

If you have the budget to upgrade your appliances, you will save a lot of money! Intelligent refrigerators and kitchen appliances are available in energy-saving versions that we recommend. Smart refrigerators operate with less energy during peak hours. Utility companies support smart refrigerators and other appliances because they put less strain on the electrical grid. If you have one of these appliances, contact your electric company to see if you qualify for an incentive payment! And see how you can make free money with Ohmconnect. They receive an incentive payment to reduce their energy consumption during peak periods. It’s really interesting to see how it all works, but in a nutshell: Save energy and money on your electricity bills and Earn money at Ohmconnect. Here’s our full review of Ohmconnect so you can find out more.

6. Smart Thermostat

As mentioned above, smart thermostats like Nest have many features that are fun to use and of course save you money!

  • Planning the car
  • Wi-Fi thermostat
  • Home and travel support system that can be switched off when you are away from home.
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa
  • Energy saving

Highest rating for ease of use, ease of installation, temperature control and Alexa integration. Get it on Amazon for about $225.

7. Energy-saving applications

Yes, there are energy saving apps that can help you optimize your home’s energy consumption. Answer a few questions about your lifestyle and get a report on how to improve your efficiency with the Homeselfe app. More apps/tools to help you save electricity:

  • Arcadia Power – Create a free account and choose from alternative and clean energy sources such as wind and solar power.
  • Billshark – take a picture of your bill, for example. For example, an electricity bill, and let us help you settle it. Their success rate is 85%.

Other ways of saving energy costs

In addition to investing in smart appliances and products that help you use less energy, there are simple tactics you can employ to save more money on your energy bills. Try one or more of these ideas:

  • Water consumption as a function of time
  • Switching to a programmable thermostat
  • Use of low-flow fittings
  • Use curtains in your home
  • Call your electricity company

Water consumption time

First, water consumption represents a large portion of utility costs. Your water bill could rise significantly. And even something as small as a broken toilet can cost you a lot of extra water. Pro tip: If your toilet is broken, get it fixed as soon as possible. The cost of a plumber will be much lower than your water bill, believe me. Here are some ways to determine when to use water:

  • The soul of time
  • Brush with a timer
  • Do not continually flush water while washing dishes, brushing your teeth, etc.
  • Define specific days for laundry

Use the timer. Check the use of water. These tips really work. Try them and see what you think.

Using a programmable thermostat

This device is the coolest thing in the world. You can program your thermostat. Instead of leaving the thermostat at the same temperature all day. You can set it to a higher temperature during the day when you are at work. And when you get home, turn down the heat. That way, you won’t have to pay to cool your home during the day when you’re not home to enjoy it.

Low-cost luminaires with low flow rate

Low-flow taps reduce the amount of water used. For example, you can install a water-saving shower head that uses less water and saves you money on your water bill. This low-flow shower head on Amazon costs less than $30 and is very easy to install, according to reviews. Easy to install, easy to remove, low maintenance and excellent value for money. You can’t beat that. Examples of energy-saving devices you can install in your home:

  • Showerhead
  • Urinal
  • Toilets
  • Taps

Window connections – mandatory

Window coverings provide significant savings. You’d be surprised how many people don’t have simple curtains in their homes. Apart from aesthetic design, they also serve other purposes. They contribute to the insulation of your house. In the summer, you want your home to be cool. Curtains or blinds keep the air in your home conditioned and keep out the hot rays of the sun. And in winter, when you want to insulate and heat your home, window coverings are your solution. Go to your local grocery or discount store and invest in window coverings that will not only make your home look beautiful, but will also lower your electric bill.

Call your energy supplier

Finally, pick up the phone and call your energy company. There are so many untapped savings opportunities that it’s worth contacting your supplier. You never know when you can take advantage of a special offer, receive free energy saving materials and much more. Honestly try to do this with all account providers. You can get deals on cable TV, internet, mobile phone packages and much more. If you don’t take initiative and open your mouth, you will miss your chance.

Final thoughts

In general, you won’t save much money by not plugging in unused appliances, but you can reduce your energy bills by 10-15% without much effort. I highly recommend using power dividers so you can disconnect and reconnect multiple devices at once without having to do it one at a time. Moreover, all smart devices are very user-friendly and help you automate your life, saving you time and money. You have the opportunity to reduce your electricity bills and avoid phantom power. What’s your opinion? Are you going to make any of these changes to reduce phantom power consumption? Have you noticed devices that use phantom power but are not as common? Let us know in the comments below so we can unplug them too. Thanks for reading and have fun saving!Phantom energy is a term that refers to electric energy that is consumed by devices in standby mode. While some devices, such as televisions and computers, must remain plugged in in order to be used, they continue to draw a small amount of power even when they have been turned off. This phantom energy use costs American consumers an estimated $3 billion annually.. Read more about what appliances use electricity even when turned off and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does phantom energy cost?

Every year, millions of people in the United States unknowingly pay for phantom energy—energy that comes from outlets that are turned off or being used to power devices that aren’t even plugged in. It’s estimated that phantom energy costs the average family about $100 to $300 annually in wasted money. In order to make sure you don’t end up paying for phantom energy, take a look at your electrical outlets and make sure each is turned off when no device is plugged into it. Also, be aware of standby power— power that is consumed by devices in sleep mode or by those that are plugged into a power strip that is connected to an outlet that is turned off. Phantom energy is the term applied to energy lost by electric appliances when they are plugged in but switched off. A study by the U.S. Department of Energy found that phantom energy costs the average American household about $300 a year. While this may not sound like a lot, the energy wasted is enough to light 3 million 100-watt light bulbs.

Why do phantom loads cost money?

To understand phantom loads, you have to know a little bit more about standby power. Standby power is the electrical power that is consumed by household appliances when they are in a standby state, but still plugged in and operating. There are two ways to measure standby power. The first is ‘Vampire Power’ and the second is ‘Vampire Load’. Vampire power is the standby power that is consumed by electronic devices that are on but not in use. Phantom Loads Phantom loads are a form of vampire load. Phantom loads are appliances that consume electricity when they are turned off. Appliances with digital clocks, power adapters, or computer peripherals such as external hard drives, optical drives, printers, and speakers that consume electricity even The average American household wastes a lot of energy. In fact, the average American home spends 10% of its energy bill on phantom loads – these are appliances and electronics that use power even when turned off. What’s even worse is that phantom loads chew up roughly 18% of total electricity use and 20% of peak demand.

How do I stop phantom electric charges?

Phantom electric charges are the result of a flaw in the electrical system. Since phantom energy charges are invisible, they can be hard to detect. In some cases, phantom charges can be present without causing damage to your electronics, but it’s better to stop them before they start. With the right adapters, you can stop phantom charges and save hundreds of dollars per year. When your charger stops working, you lose access to the power. But, if you think about it, you also lose access to the loads of money you’re paying for the device to be plugged in. Those phantom loads are the amount of electricity a device uses while it’s plugged in but turned off—and they can add up to a lot of money.

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