Jeff Masters Weather Blog

‘Phantom’ power is responsible for up to 10% of a home’s energy use » Yale Climate Connections

‘Tis the season of ghosts, goblins … and phantom power?

Jennifer Amann with the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy says phantom power is the electricity used by devices in standby power mode.

“You can think about it as the power that’s required for a product like a television to listen for the remote control,” she says.

She says that although electronics use less standby power than they used to, people have more gadgets than ever. And together the power they use can be up to 10% of a home’s energy use. That means higher bills and more carbon pollution.

But there are many tools that can reduce power waste, such as smart outlets or power strips with a couple of outlets that are always on.

“So say you wanted to make sure that your TV didn’t lose power to maintain the settings, but some of the peripherals that you have attached to your TV, your sound bar, gaming system … you could turn that off,” Amann says.

She says the first step is to be aware of the problem.

“If you have something that you don’t know if it uses stand by or not, and you don’t need to have it plugged in, just unplug it,” she says.

That way, the only vampires and phantoms haunting your house this Halloween are those looking for candy.

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media

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