Did you know that up to 40 per cent of the electricity used by home electronics is consumed while they're turned 'off'? Sometimes called 'phantom load', 'idle current', 'vampire power' and 'wall wart', this phantom usage sucks extra energy from the grid into your home when you don't need it.
Phantom energy can account for about 10 per cent of an individual home's electricity use. The most common culprits include:
- Chargers for cell phones, cameras, and laptops;
- Televisions, DVD players, computer monitors;
- Clocks with permanently illuminated digital displays;
- New larger appliances, such as washing machines and air conditioners.
By conserving energy at home or investing in new appliances, you can cut down on hydro bills and even qualify for tax-free government rebates. Here are some tips from Sears Home Services:
- Unplug devices that aren't being used. Plug TVs, DVD players and computers into power bars and shut down the bars when you aren't using them.
- Rather than setting your gadgets to “standby”, ensure they're completely shut down. Standby or phantom power load can range from a few watts to as much as 20 or even 40 for each device.
- Consider replacing battery-powered devices, such as cordless phones or rechargeable razors, with corded alternatives. It cuts down the standby power required to charge the battery and reduces energy lost while charging or from discharging inefficiencies.
More information on making your home more energy efficient or how to qualify for government grants can be found online at www.searshomeservices.ca.
-- News Canada