The Rundown on “Phantom Power”

Kylee Schecter

When most people think of a Phantom, terrifying images of ghouls come to mind; Phantom Power is no exception to this frightening image. Phantom Power, also called Standby Power, is basically another name for the energy used by devices plugged in but not currently in use. Often associated with televisions and video game consoles, Phantom Power can account for 23% of your home’s electrical usage (according to a 2015 study conducted by the Natural Resource Defense Council). Phantom Power hurts both you and the environment. According to the same Natural Resource Defense Council study, the United States alone could “avoid 64 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity use per year; and prevent 44 million metric tons of carbon dioxide pollution, or 4.6 percent of U.S. residential sector carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from electricity generation” if all homes reduced their idle load for devices. While it may be a hard pill to swallow, we’re doing harm to our environment by keeping idle devices plugged in. One of the ways to decrease the idle load or Phantom Power in your home is to unplug any unused devices. Not only does this save you money, but it allows you to reduce your Carbon footprint!