Simple steps such as using power strips or unplugging chargers can
make a difference
New Orleans, La. – With Halloween fast approaching, Entergy New Orleans is
encouraging its customers to be on the lookout for phantoms – phantom power,
Phantom power, also known as standby or vampire power, is the energy used by
certain appliances and electronic devices, even when they are turned off. A
variety of products and appliances, such as televisions, microwaves and cell
phone chargers, use phantom power. While it may seem trivial, the amount of
wasted energy can add up over time and show up on monthly utility bills.
According to the
U.S. Department of Energy, appliances and home electronics can account for
as much as 20 percent of a typical monthly bill. And approximately 75 percent of
the electricity used to power those products is consumed when the products are
“Phantom power can be compared to having a leaky faucet,” said Melonie Hall,
director of customer service for Entergy New Orleans, Inc. “A few drips may not
seem like a big deal but they can add up to a larger water bill over time.
Similarly, appliances and electronics that draw power even when you aren’t using
them can add to your monthly power bill. Fortunately there are some simple ways
to control phantom power and help you save money.”
Anything with a plug, a glowing light or a display can be a phantom power
user. The most common culprits include electronics with remote controls, built
in clocks or timers and instant-on features such as television, computers,
printers, video game consoles and DVD players.
A study by the
National Resources Defense Council showed that some cable TV boxes, which
are often left on all day, can use as much power as a refrigerator.
Other common phantom power users are appliances and household items that are
charged through a wall plug such as digital cameras, power tools, cell phones
and MP3 players.
Here are some simple steps that can help you fight phantom power:
- Purchase an Advanced Power Strip and plug appliances into it.
Energy Smart, a New Orleans
energy efficiency program, is offering a $15 mail-in rebate for selected
advanced power strips. They can be purchased in stores or on-line, and more
information is available at the
- Unplug small transformers (battery chargers and power adapters)
when products are fully charged or not in use. Small transformers come with
many electronics such as cell phones and electric shavers and plug into
standard wall outlets.
- Check the label. If purchasing an Energy Star-labeled product,
choose the model that uses the least amount of phantom power. If the amount
isn’t listed on the label, visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s
online database to view manufacturer-supplied data by category.
For more information on energy conservation and a variety of money saving
Entergy New Orleans, Inc. is an electric and gas utility serving Orleans
Parish and is a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation. The company provides
electricity to more than 160,000 customers and natural gas to more than 100,000
customers in Orleans Parish.