Combatting Phantom Power

Published 8:50 am Thursday, October 25, 2018

Simple Steps can Help Customers Save by Warding off Energy Waste

To The Leader



THE WOODLANDS, Texas – Although you may be gearing up to ward off a horde of ghosts and goblins this Halloween, now is a great time to start combatting the phantoms already haunting your home.

Phantom power, also known as standby power, vampire power or phantom load, is the energy used by certain plugged-in appliances and electronic devices, even when they are turned off or in standby mode.

The most common culprits include some household favorites, including electronics with remote controls, built-in clocks or timers and instant-on features such as televisions, computers, printers, video game consoles, and DVD players.

While it might seem like a trivial amount, it’s spooky how much wasted energy can add up over time and show up on your monthly utility bills. According to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, as much as 10 percent of residential electricity use goes toward powering appliances in standby power mode.

Customers can control their energy usage with these tips and tricks to keep household phantoms from catching them off guard:

  • Purchase an advanced power strip and plug appliances into it. Turn off when not using.
  • Unplug small transformers (battery chargers and power adapters) when products are fully charged or not in use.
  • Check the label. If purchasing an Energy Star-labeled product, choose the model that uses the least amount of standby power. If the amount isn’t listed on the label, visit the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star website to find information about specific products.
  • For more information on energy conservation and a variety of money-saving tips, visit

Following these tips can seem like small savings at first, but when added up over time, they can be significant.