Phantom Power Draw


If you had a leaky faucet in one of your sinks, would you fix it so that you didn't waste water? Did you
know that you have electronics in your home that are leaking electricity, that you pay for, and this is going
on 24 hours a day seven days a week!. This power drain is called the "phantom load" and it is a big problem
with a rather simple solution.

Phantom load is a constant electrical leak caused by most electronics left plugged in when they are not
in use. The main culprits are anything with a clock, a remote or a little red LED light that lets you know it is
active. The most common electronics with phantom loads are the television, video game consoles, microwave
ovens, computers, printers, cell phone chargers, and much more. They are all plugged in and are taking

Although it seems like a small problem, some studies estimate that the phantom load can account for 10
percent of household energy use and it can add up to more than four billion in annual energy cost in the
USA. Simple video game consoles alone like a Playstation, Wii or Xbox-- left plugged in and idling consumes
more than one billion dollars of electricity per year (National Resources Council).

So what can you do to fight phantom load? The easiest strategy is to use power strips to cut power to
your electronics. When you turn off the power strip, it stops the phantom load problem. Start to use this
with your entertainment center and home office. This is where you will find the largest number of
leaks. Televisions, game consoles, and computers are the bigger culprits. Make sure to place the power
strip in a location that easy to reach so that it can be turned on and off rapidly.

There are some appliances where this concept doesn't work well, like dishwashers, laundry appliances.
However as you consider new appliances keep this in mind as you shop for a new one.

Earth Keepers will keep in mind the many opportunities there are to save energy and Care for the Creation