Phantom Power Loads and the Environment

You can reduce your electricity bills by as much as 10% – simply by unplugging appliances or switching devices off at the power point they are connected to when not in use. It’s good for your wallet and for our planet.

Standby, also known as phantom power loads, are responsible for an incredible amount of electricity consumption nationally. Practically every electronic device that you plug into a socket continues to consume electricity after you’ve switched the device off. Examples include phone chargers, notebook power adaptors, microwave ovens, game consoles CD, video and dvd players

If an appliance or device has an adaptor, the easiest way to tell if it’s still drawing power when the device is switched off is if the adaptor is warm.

While the amount of power being drawn by each of these appliances in standby mode usually isn’t huge – anything from .5 – 5 watts per hour; when you consider the number of electronics devices in the average home these days and multiply that by the number of hours in a year; then multiply that by the number of households in your country – it really adds up. The average home in the USA consumers about 50 watts of standby power an hour.

I’ve read that the annual collective standby power draw from households in the USA is around 8 gigawatts – equivalent to the electricity production of eight large power plants. Globally, standby power consumption is estimated to be responsible for about 1% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. Carbon dioxide is a gas that contributes to global warming.

Imagine that – we could knock off 1% of the amount of carbon dioxide being spewed into the environment just by switching appliances and devices off at the wall when not in use; and all save a few bucks on each power bill in the process!

Michael Bloch is the author and owner of Green Living Tips.com, an online resource powered by renewable energy offering a wide variety of earth friendly tips, green guides, advice and environment related news to help consumers and business reduce costs, consumption and environmental impact on the planet.