What is Phantom Energy?
As stated on the Go Green Saskatchewan website, “about 40 per cent of all electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off. This is known as phantom or stand-by power. Some stand-by power is necessary. For example, it's why your television is ready to detect signals from your remote control when you turn it on. But, keep in mind this means your TV can draw power even when it's not on.”
Appliances and electronics that draw phantom power include:
- any appliance with a digital interface or clock
- microwave, coffee maker, DVD player, VCR
- anything that relies on DC power
- any device that has a remote control
- stereo, television cable box
- battery chargers
Devices unlikely to draw phantom power include:
- any appliance that has a mechanical switch that closes an electronic circuit in order to work
- overhead lights, lamps, and many kitchen appliances like mixers or toasters
How to turn off phantom power
One great option to eliminate stand-by power, especially at night, is to operate your whole entertainment centre using a power bar. At the VerEco House, we use the Belkin model that turns of and on using a remote switch.
The VerEco House also has a continuous circuit. This is a circuit that connects several outlets throughout the house to a switch located in a convenient location. Items plugged into the outlets connected to the switch can have the power turned on and off easily and the homeowner will save on phantom energy.
Installing a continuous circuit is something you should get your electrician to do. Here are two websites that explain the process.
Whatever method you use to cut back on phantom power, there are a variety of options that make it easy and convenient.