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Phantom Power

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Definition: We often hear the term phantom power or phantom energy and we know it relates to energy use, but what is it and what can we do about it? Phantom power is energy being used by those appliances and tools, electronics or any electrical device that 'sleeps' or hibernates when not in use, so it can start up more quickly when needed.

These are not necessarily cordless devices that actually use power while waiting for you to need them. These can actually use more energy than phantom power, unless they are completely charged and still plugged in - waiting - then they also are drawing small amounts of energy.

A photocopier that goes into hibernate mode or your large screen television do not shut off from the electrical source when you turn it off, but continues to draw minute amounts of electricity during this off time. In fact, many electrical devices do not have an on/off button and that makes it more difficult to completely disconnect these from power unless you plug them into a surge-protected, UL approved power bar, that you can turn off when not in use.

Though the amount of phantom power an electrical appliance or device uses is minute, considering the amount of those electrical devices in our homes, this is wasted energy that is costing you money, and it all adds up at month end. So turn them completely off or unplug them, or use a power bar that allows you turn them off completely during lightning storms (protection), overnight, when you're on vacation and any time they will not be used for a few hours.
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Pronunciation: Phan.tom Pow.er
Also Known As: Phantom Energy
Examples:
You might turn off your LCD television, but it is not completely disconnected from power and still continues to draw a small amount of phantom power, unless you unplug it.

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Related Video
How to Reduce Phantom Loads to Lower Your Electric Bill

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