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Beware of energy-wasting phantom load

Idaho Power

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - Spooky season is upon us, and it’s a great time to find and reduce the phantom load in your home to save energy and money all year long.

Phantom load — or standby power — comes from electronics that draw power even when they aren’t in use. A typical American home has 40 products constantly drawing power, including DVRs, personal computers, video game consoles and DVD players. Together, these amount to about 6% of residential electricity use.

In fact, the National Resources Defense Council estimates phantom load accounts for $19 billion a year in energy costs in the U.S — about $200 each year for the average American home.

Idaho Power encourages customers to reduce phantom load with the following tips:

  • Enable power-save features on computers, TVs and videogame consoles.
  • Unplug electronic devices that don’t require reprogramming or aren’t frequently used.
  • Buy ENERGY STAR® products, which have lower standby use.
  • Borrow a Kill A Watt™ meter from your local library to measure the standby use of devices in your home.
  • Use a power strip and make it easy to turn off multiple items at once — or better yet, a smart power strip — to control groups of electronics like computer or video equipment.

For more energy-saving tips, visit

Article Topic Follows: Idaho

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