Phantom Loads: Unplug And Save Money On Power!

Date Jul 13, 2020
Blog category Power
By Michael Speight
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What are phantom loads? If you're not aware, phantom loads (also known as standby power or vampire power) refer to the electricity that's consumed by a device when it is turned off or left on standby.

Not many people realise this but even if you turn off a device, it still consumes electricity as long as it's plugged in. 

Many devices have low power background functions whilst they are turned off. For example, any device such as a Smart TV or microwave that needs to keep the time will consume power in the background.

There are many other appliances that still consume power even when they're turned off. As long as they're plugged in, the standby power will create phantom load which will unnecessarily increase electricity bills.

We're going to delve in deeper to discuss the ways that phantom loads eat up power, and how you can reduce at least 10% of your electricity bills by simply unplugging!

The most common phantom load culprits

There are a number of household appliances that contribute to your power bill and they're also the most common phantom culprits:

  • Televisions
  • Gaming consoles
  • Computers 
  • Plugged in laptops
  • Printers
  • Electronic device chargers
  • Clock radios
  • Coffeemakers

More often than not these are the devices that you need to look out for. If you're trying to identify which devices are phantom load culprits, be on the lookout for any device that has a remote control, a clock, or a standby light. 

How to reduce phantom load

By changing the way you manage the electronics and appliances in your home, you can make large savings over time. The first step or habit you can get yourself into is unplugging chargers that are not in use such as your phone and laptop chargers.

Consider switching off devices that you aren’t using. For example, you can unplug your microwave or gaming consoles before you go to sleep. 

One effective strategy you can do to reduce phantom load is to buy power bars or smart strips. Identify the top phantom load culprits for each room in your house and plug all of them into a power bar.

Power bars can be set to automatically stop the power flowing to devices at certain time periods; so if you know that you won’t be using any electronic devices between 11pm and 9am, you can set the power bars to manage the electricity usage. 

Compare Power Companies and Save

Electronics that produce phantom load can really take a toll on your power bill. For some households, phantom load can contribute to 10% of your electricity costs. Reducing phantom load can really play a part in reducing your electricity expenses. 

Another method for reducing power bills is to switch electricity providers. With glimp, you can compare electricity prices with other power companies in your area. Simply compare power companies and see if you're getting the best deal right now.    

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