Written by Dr. Carole Christopher, SPEC President
Phantom leaks occur when microwaves, computers, TVs, and other electrical devices continue to draw energy even when they’re turned off, up to 15%.
The solution—unplug them.
A convenient way to do that is to plug devices, such as your computer, and their peripherals, printers, speakers, monitors, etc. into a power bar that you manually switch off. Unplugging your rechargers for smart phones and iPads is also smart. Remember—if it’s warm, it is drawing energy.
Different devices leak different amounts. You can find out how much it at: http://20somethingfinance.com/electrical-leaking-standby-appliance-list/.)
Collectively, phantom leaks can account for about 10% of your household energy bill. Given the average of 30 domestic electrical devices, the cost savings of stopping that leak is many times the cost of power bars. Many of us already have them but have to climb under desks and into cabinets to use them. If you commit to making your power bars accessible, they can begin paying for themselves right away. And you can feel proud of yourself for doing your part to reduce your electricity usage for the environment.
Smart strips are another option. They are a type of power bar with the added convenience that they deliver electricity to some outlets while shutting it off to others. This allowing you to turn off the computer and peripherals but leave the light and/or the clock on, for example. Some smart strips can be set by a timer to turn off automatically, others sense occupancy in the room and shut off devices accordingly. However you choose to organize it. Not all are readily available, but your local store may have one for about $40.00 apiece.
These smart strips are more expensive but offer more flexibility with savings.
Google Search: phantom energy leaks and smart strips
Image credit: http://www.energycaretech.com