Stopping Phantom Energy Loss Dead In Its Tracks


Run an Energy Audit on Your Home and You’ll Be Shocked at How Much Power You’re Wasting

I don’t want to alarm you, but right now as you read this…there are vampires in your home.

No, I don’t mean 400-year old Transylvanian men with a cape fetish.  The vampires I am talking about are much more discreet. You may be sitting right next to one as it sucks power from your home and money from your pocket.

The vampires I’m referring to are the everyday appliances, gadgets, and electronic equipment right in your own home that quietly suck energy even when they’re turned off. This phantom energy loss is a result of the standby modes common in modern equipment. Even when turned off, these devices are ready to respond to commands from a remote control. This state of readiness requires power.

Designing devices that are ready to operate or receive signals at all times is convenient, but it’s certainly not energy or cost efficient. Phantom energy loss can add hundreds of dollars per year to the average electric bill, not to mention the added strain it causes on the Earth’s energy reserves. Limiting phantom energy loss will not only help you save money, it will help sustain the environment too.

Which devices use the most phantom energy?

Basically any device that has a standby mode, a remote control, or a display. Chief culprits include computers, cable boxes, cell phone chargers, and any appliance that has a built in clock. Yes, you’re paying for the phantom energy used to power that clock in your microwave or coffee pot.

So what can you do to stop it?

kill-a-watt-ezFigure out which devices are causing the most phantom energy loss and unplug them when they’re not in use. To save yourself some hassle, plug all of your home entertainment and computer components into a power strip. Just don’t forget to flip the switch off when it’s not in use.

To track down the vampires in your home you’ll need a power usage meter like the Kill-A-Watt EZ.   Simply connect your various elctronics and appliance to the P3 International P4460 Kill A Watt EZ Electricity Usage Monitor and it will tell you exactly how much electricity it is using.

You can even enter your own actual cost per KwH as taken from your utility bill and it will calculate energy usage by day, week, month, or even over the whole year.   And once you identify the vampires that are sucking up all of your energy you can unplug them when not in use.

Or if you have an older air conditioner or fridge you might me shocked to discover how much you can save by trading them in for newer models.

The Kill A Watt EZ has been on my wishlist for awhile but I haven’t had the extra cash to pick one up.  When I do buy one finally I’ll post my findings here on this blog.  I’m dying to find out how much I can save using it.  :)

11 Comments so far

  1. wireless network finder on December 19th, 2009

    Fantastic website. I’m so happy I wandered here through my friend’s blog Going to have to add this one to the blogroll :)

  2. Overnight Cash Advance on December 21st, 2009

    This is a great gadget. I have been told we need to unplug our devices to save money. I never have. This is a celever device for this.

  3. Mrs. Money on February 16th, 2010

    Huh- I had never heard of that little device! It’s really neat. Your post is really good. The Transylvania vampires made me smile. :)
    .-= Mrs. Money´s last blog ..Is Phantom Electricity Draining your Bank Account? =-.

  4. Mike on February 17th, 2010

    @Mrs Money, thanks for the kind words!

    I first saw the P3 at Radio Shack and it was like $50 but it’s a lot cheaper on Amazon. One of these days I’m going to pick it up and try it out.

  5. ENERGY EFFICIENCY TIPS on December 24th, 2010

    […] your floors, ceilings and walls with insulationUnplug items that aren’t in use to eliminate phantom energy loss – submitted by Mike from SavingMoneyToday.netWear a sweater when coldWear nothing when […]

  6. […] aware of unexpected money sucks like phantom energy drains in your home.  If you like what you’re reading, pick up my RSS feed and follow me on […]

  7. […] your home drain power even when they’re not in use? According to the Energy Center of Wisconsin, phantom energy can account for 5% – 10% or more of your total energy bill. This can add up quickly and if […]

  8. Save Money On Your Electric Bill on November 8th, 2011

    […] not, appliances that are plugged in use electricity even when they are not turned on (it’s called phantom electricity). Look at your microwave or DVD player for example. You may have the power turned off but the clock […]

  9. Troy on February 10th, 2012

    I agree with you. I recall my mom who always bugs me to pull that plug from the socket when a certain appliance is not used.
    Troy´s last blog post ..jamorama review

  10. Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager on February 10th, 2012

    Interesting idea. Definitely planning on checking this out (and getting a home energy audit) when I purchase my first home.

  11. Young And Thrifty on February 11th, 2012

    It’s always wise to unplug things that are not in use like chargers, games, and fans. Anything that shows a little light to warn that its plugged in will also consume energy.
    Young And Thrifty´s last blog post ..youngandthrifty cheap and good eats: The Mac Shack

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