July 30 2010

The Phantom (energy) Menace!

by April

Since my son is having himself a Star Wars marathon this week, I thought this week’s blog should be dedicated to that which plagues us all but few of us know of – The Phantom Menace.  Mostly known as phantom energy, phantom power, vampire power, etc. – it is the electricity your appliances and other gadgets are using even when they are turned off.  Most people pass this off as an urban myth but it is true, to the tune of 10 billion dollars wasted every year in the U.S. alone.  So yes, all those things plugged into your walls that aren’t even on - from plasma televisions (these are the worst) to computers and down to your cell phone charger – are sucking energy from your home and money from your wallet.  Unplugging everything can be more than annoying so consider grouping things on power strips (TV, DVD, and DVR on one, computer and chargers on another) that you can turn off at night or when you leave the house.  Yes, the DVR still works and records your stuff.  Check out vampirepowersucks.com to see a rolling ticker of how much we are losing to phantom power and calculate how much you use and lose.  So unplug those things – they suck!

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