Is Phantom Energy Haunting Your House?

Many of the electronic devices in your home stay on, even when they're "off." Chargers for cell phones, digital cameras, power tools and other gadgets draw energy even when they're not in use. Appliances like televisions, computer monitors and DVD players can also draw power whenever they're plugged into an outlet. All together, "phantom energy" use account for about 5 percent of an individual's home's electricity use.

You can take some simple steps to reduce the financial and environmental impact from these "vampire" appliances. Unplugging devices is the simplest way to solve the problem, but can be a hassle. Plugging a couple of your devices into a surge protector that can be clicked on and off can make things easier.

When you're shopping for a new device, check out this online database of products rated by their standby energy use from the Federal Energy Management Program at the U.S. Department of Energy. And devices that have the Energy Star label from the Environmental Protection Agency will use less energy when they're in or out of use. See also: ::How To Green Your Electricity

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