Phantom load, or “vampire draw” (yikes!), refers to electricity consumed by plugged-in appliances even when they’re turned off. On average, this uninvited guest costs households $100 more a year on their bills.
The biggest culprits are the usual suspects: TVs, computers, game consoles, phone chargers and small appliances.
Don’t worry, you don’t need an exorcist. Just follow a few simple tips:
- Unplug all appliances that are off, sleeping or rarely used.
- When shopping for new electronics, look for “low standby” products.
- Use a switchable power strip for computer or entertainment set-ups that can be switched off all at once.
- Buy a low-cost wattmeter to see how much power your devices are using.