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Warding Off Energy Vampires and Phantom Loads

October 31, 2013 - 1:45pm

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This Halloween, keep energy vampires at bay -- while saving energy and money -- with these home energy efficiency tricks. | Infographic by Sarah Gerrity, Energy Department

This Halloween, keep energy vampires at bay -- while saving energy and money -- with these home energy efficiency tricks. | Infographic by Sarah Gerrity, Energy Department

Ghosts and goblins may only come out on Halloween, but energy vampires and phantom loads lurk in our homes and offices all year long.  Energy vampires are appliances or other plugged-in devices that draw energy, or phantom loads, when they are plugged in but not in use.  Energy vampires also include products that require standby power to run clocks such as coffee makers or cable boxes.  These vampires are wicked and wasteful, costing U.S. households an average of $100 per year. 

Tennessee’s Office of Energy Programs (OEP) is working to wipe out energy vampires and phantom loads with its EDGE project, which could serve as a model for other energy efficiency projects throughout the country. Using Recovery Act funds made available by the Energy Department’s State Energy Program, OEP distributed Kill-A-Watt® Meters to program participants to measure “in use” and “standby power” of at least five of their devices or appliances at home or work.  Participants then report their findings and pass the Kill-A-Watt® Meters on to others to use. 

 “I was wasting around $60 per year just on two [guitar amplifiers] when they weren’t even powered on,” said Clay Crownover of Knoxville, Tennessee, “I think from now on I’m going to start unplugging stuff.  “It’s free and it saves us money in the long run.” 

To learn more about reducing phantom load and energy vampires in your home, check out Energy Savers

 

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