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  • Home > Ways to Save > At Home > Efficiency Tips > Finding Phantom Loads

    Finding Phantom Loads

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    Many common household devices use electricity, even when you aren’t using them. These devices create “phantom” electricity loads. An estimated 5-15% of household energy usage is from phantom loads.

    Most phantom loads are relatively small, but when you add them all up, they can have a significant impact on your monthly energy use. Finding and eliminating phantom loads can help reduce your electric bill.

    Where To Find Phantom Loads

    You can use a Kill A Watt Monitor to accurately measure phantom loads in your home. Kill A Watt Monitors are available for check-out from our local libraries, or for purchase at home electronic stores. If you don’t want to use a monitor, you can use the table below to calculate a rough estimate of typical standby energy usage for common household items.

    ApplianceAverage Annual
    Energy Use in
    Standby Mode (kWh)
    Average Annual
    Cost
    at PUD Rate
    of 7.04¢/kWh
    Number of
    Appliances
    in Your Home
    Your Estimated
    Annual Cost
    Desktop Computer

    70

    $4.93

    Inkjet Printer

    70

    $4.93

    Clock Radio

    18

    $1.27

    Garage Door Opener

    24

    $1.69

     

    Microwave Oven

    26

    $1.83

    Computer Router/Modem

    115

    $8.10

    DVD Player/DVR

    320

    $22.53

    Cable/Satellite Box

    128

    $9.19

    CRT TV (27") 

    26

    $1.83

    LCD TV (40")

    123

    $8.66

    Plasma TV (50")

    145

    $10.21

    Rear Projection TV (65")

    186

    $13.09

    Cordless Phone

    14

    $0.99

    Stereo

    128

    $9.01

    Programmable Coffee Pot

    11

    $0.77

     YOUR TOTAL ANNUAL COST:

    How To Reduce Phantom Loads

    • Unplug items that are not in use. 
    • Plug sensitive electronics such as computers, televisions or DVD players into surge suppressors, and then switch off the surge suppressor to eliminate the phantom power load.  (Be sure to keep your set-top box and modem on a separate circuit to avoid loss of connection.)
    • When replacing  home electronics, choose ENERGY STAR qualified items that typically use less power in standby mode.