Phantom (Standby) Power

Did you know that many appliances and electronic equipment use electricity even when turned off? This is called standby power, sometimes referred to as "phantom" power. Standby power accounts for:
  • An estimated 6% of average household electric use
  • 43 billion kilowatt-hours per year in the United States
Some standby power is useful because it lets equipment receive remote control signals. However, other uses are not needed:
  • Cell phone and other battery chargers plugged in when not in use
  • Seldom used computer printers or other non-essential devices left on 24/7

Tips to reduce wasted energy in your home

  • Check out a "Watts Up" portable energy meter from your public library to learn which equipment uses power when turned off.
  • Unplug equipment when not in use.
  • Use a switched power strip to turn off several pieces at once.
  • Look for the ENERGY STAR® label when buying new appliances and equipment.
  • Avoid buying equipment with a clock or remote functions that you don't need.
Have more energy questions? MGE's Energy Experts can help!