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Put a Leash on Standby Power

Standby power, vampire power, phantom load, ghost electricity, leaking electricity. These are all terms used to describe wasted energy that most people are entirely unaware that they are wasting. Standby power refers to the energy that electronics put out when they are plugged in, but not turned on or being used.

When your microwave isn’t being used, it’s still using power.

Your phone charger that is plugged in 24/7—that’s a culprit, too. Every electronic attached to the wall all day is adding dollars to your electric bill and wasting precious energy.

Want proof? Put your hand on your phone charger that’s been plugged in for who knows how long. It’s most likely warm. It always is – it is always using energy.

You may be thinking, “So what? It’s just one charger. It can’t possibly waste that much power.” That, my friend, is where you are greatly mistaken.

A new study by The Natural Resources Defense Council estimates that standby power produced in the U.S. translates to $19 billion a year, or an average of $165 per household. But there is still hope.

The same study estimates that if U.S. homes cut their standby power production by 25%, it “could save consumers $8 billion on their annual utility bills and prevent 44 million metric tons of carbon dioxide pollution.”

Here are a few tips and tricks that can help you reduce the electricity being wasted in your home:

  1. Conquer standby power by starting small. Every morning when you unplug your cell phone, unplug the charger too. Before long, it will become second nature and you can move on to making unplugging the microwave a daily part of your routine. Humans are creatures of routine – use it to your wallet’s, and your planet’s, advantage.
  2. If there are many electronics in one area, a power strip can help eliminate standby power with one flip of its switch. Plug these electronics into one power strip for easy control of your ghost power – TV, sound bar, Blu-ray/DVD player, gaming devices, computer, printer, speakers.
  3. Utilize the energy saving settings on computers, air conditioners, and other electronics.

by Sarah Bergen, Blogger/Publicist, Exact Solar

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