Phantom (Standby) Power

Phantom (Standby) Power

Many appliances and electronic equipment use electricity even when turned off.

  • Estimated 6% of average household electric use
  • 43 billion kilowatt-hours per year in the United States

Some standby power is useful:

  • Lets equipment receive remote control signals
  • Allows scheduled TV program recording

Other uses are not needed:

  • Cell phone and other battery chargers plugged in when not in use
  • Seldom used computer printers or other peripherals left on 24/7

How to save

  • 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 are not needed.

For more information