Most people think that when you turn electronics off, they stop drawing power. Unfortunately, that's not true in the case of many devices. Stand-by power, also known as vampire or phantom load, refers to the electricity used by home electronics when they seem “off”. Any appliances with a remote control, charger, or clock display all draw some power in stand-by mode.
What can you do about power-sucking gadgets?
- Use an advanced power strip. The advanced power strip, also known as a smart strip, takes care of vampire load for you. When you turn off your TV, you can also power down your entire home theater—your DVD player and game consoles—at the same time. Use a smart strip for any cluster of electronics you want to control with the flip of a single switch, or the click of a remote control.
- Unplug your devices. For small accessible electronics, just pull power cords out of the outlet if they're not in use.
- See if there are electronics in your home that you no longer use, or use very infrequently. If these are plugged in, they may be drawing power.
- Your cell phone, tablet, and laptop chargers draw electricity even when they are not charging a device. If your phone or other device isn't attached to your charger, just unplug it.