Phantom power, also known as standby power, vampire power, and leaking electricity, can account for up to 10 per cent of all electricity used in our homes.
Across Canada phantom power consumption totals approximately 5,400,000,000 kWh. That is equivalent to the electrical consumption of all households in Manitoba and PEI combined.
Here are a few tips for reducing phantom power:
• Unplug battery chargers as soon as the device is fully charged or when the charger is not being used. A battery charger draws power even when the device it is charging has been removed.
• If you regularly use a number of battery chargers (for power tools, cell phones, etc), make a charging station where all of the chargers are plugged into a single power bar that may easily turned off all at once.
• When you are finished watching a movie or playing a video game, turn off the DVD player or game console, not just the TV. The average gaming system, when left idle, can use 90 watts of power or roughly $60 in electricity costs every year.
• Unplug infrequently used electronics, such as a second TV, DVD player or audio system or use a power bar that can easily be turned off to avoid standby power consumption. Approximately 40 per cent of all electricity used to power electronics is used when the products are turned off but are in standby mode.
• Try turning off your computer when it’s not being used. In the case of computers, most electricity waste occurs when they are left on overnight, on weekends. If you purchase a new computer consider an ENERGY STAR® certified computer that up to 70 per cent less electricity.