Four everyday devices that use phantom power and drain your wallet – how to save $40 on your bill every month

ENERGY COSTS reach new highs every day, much to the chagrin of the destitute residents.

There are several everyday devices in your home that suck up phantom power and could add more money to your monthly energy bill.

Unplugging your devices can lower your electric bills


Unplugging your devices can lower your electric bills

Even after you’ve taken steps to lower your bill, you could still be paying hundreds of dollars a year because of “vampire devices.”

These devices continue to use “phantom loads” and add to your bill even when you’re not using them.

In 2015, a Natural Resources Defense Council study found that the energy consumption of “idle” devices costs the average household about $165 annually.

The cost could be as high as $440 per household based on peak rates.

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According to the Department of Energy, vampire devices and electronics account for 10 percent of the energy used in the average home.

Amy Fiala, an energy efficiency program coordinator, shared some of her tips for reducing utility bills with the Pikes Peak Courier.

1. Chargers

Most of us leave our charges plugged in 24/7 for easy access, but they’re slowly adding to your bill.

Depending on how many chargers you typically have plugged in at once, you can save up to $20 annually by removing a few when not in use.

It can be a hassle constantly unplugging and plugging your electronics back in, so Amy suggests getting a smart power strip that will detect when a device is in standby mode and turn off the power.

2. TV and accessories

Your TV only adds about $10 in phantom power to your bill over the course of the year, but everything plugged into it also uses power.

The worst culprit is the DVR, which can consume up to $30 worth of electricity every year.

If you have a cable box, you’re probably losing another $10 a year while it’s off, and the same goes for any audio or speaker systems you might have connected to your TV.

Overall, you could save $20-$70 on your bill by unplugging your entertainment systems, not just turning them off.

3. Computers

Just like televisions, computers come with a variety of gadgets.

Turning off the computers does not turn off the screen, router, speakers, and printer.

In this case it can be a bit trickier as things like your router can’t really be unplugged without causing disruption throughout the house.

Many experts recommend turning off the computer if you plan to be inactive for more than 20 minutes, and shutting down the computer and monitor if you’ll be away for two hours or more.

By properly turning off your computer and monitor — and unplugging your printer when not in use — you can save about $25 a year.

4. Kitchen Appliances

Every countertop appliance you have in your kitchen costs about $5 a year in phantom loads.

A household with a microwave, coffee maker, toaster, and air fryer is spending $20 more for no reason.

Unplugging these items or plugging them into a smart power strip will put the money back in your pocket.

Other ways to reduce your phantom load

Aside from simply unplugging the device, there are a few other things you need to do to reduce your energy bills.

You can plug devices into a power strip or install a whole house switch that turns off remotely controlled outlets with a single button press.

Alternatively, you can connect these items to a timer that will automatically cut off the power supply during the time you set.

It is also possible to adjust the power settings of devices such as TVs, computers and game consoles.

Finally, whenever possible, purchase ENERGY STAR qualified equipment. They have requirements to minimize idle load (low standby power, auto power off) in addition to using lower active mode power.

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Also check out the cheaper alternative to drying your clothes. Four everyday devices that use phantom power and drain your wallet – how to save $40 on your bill every month

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