unplug to avoid using phantom power Photo by Clint Patterson on Unsplash

Did you know many things in your home use energy even when they are turned off and not being used? There are several names for this cash wasting electricity used when you think everything is turned off. It’s called Phantom Power, Phantom Energy, Vampire Electricity, among other names.

And Phantom Energy is wasting your money and pumping climate-changing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, the amount is 44 million tons of CO2 each year. And it costs the average home $165 in additional energy cost.

You know your refrigerator uses energy 24/7, but did you know your TV, cable box, and many other devices do as well, even when they are “turned off”? Did you know every one of your phone and device chargers you keep plugged in, even when they are not charging a device, sucking up kilowatts 24/7? That’s Vampire Energy you are paying for.

The US Department of Energy estimates 5-8% of a single-family home’s energy use is phantom power. A 2008 article on the Arizona State University website says:

“Alan Meier of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory estimates that a typical home loses 50 watts to these appliance “vampires,” which accounts for approximately five percent of the total household energy bill or approximately one percent of the global CO2 emissions. Compare this to the airline industry, which produces three percent of the global CO2 emissions.”

An article in the New York Times says:

“…. 4.6 percent of the country’s total residential electricity generation. In an office, things like printers, computers, and phone chargers can consume a quarter of a building’s energy.”

An article in Mother Nature Network,  “Should I unplug my appliances and, if so, will I save money on my electric bill?” gives you more info about phantom power and things you can do to stop wasting energy and money.

One other thing you can do is build or buy a Zero Energy or Positive Energy Home. That way, all your energy is from clean, green, sustainable energy sources (like solar panels) and virtually free.

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