Learn: Phantom Power

What Is Phantom Power?

Even when household appliances and electronics are plugged in, but turned off, they use electricity. This is called phantom power.

While technology and improved performance standards are addressing the issue of phantom power, we encourage you to plug your appliances and electronics into power bars that can be turned off when not in use. This saves you electricity and money.

Get a saveONenergy coupon for a power bar.

How much electricity do some of your electronics consume when not in use?

Consumed energy (kWh/y)

Electronic equipment Unit energy consumption (kWh/y) Energy consumption when not actively used (idle/sleep/off mode in kWh/y)
Desktop PC 186 99.2
Television 166 11.4
STB – Cable, Satellite 104 45.8
Video Game Console 88 61
Compact Stereo System 75 38
Computer Monitor 58 2.7
Portable PC 53 18.6
Computer Speaker 42 24
Speaker Dock 19 13.2

Percent of total unit energy consumption

Source:“Energy Consumption of Consumer Electronics in U.S. Homes in 2013” report to The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), June 2014 [PDF – 2.02MB]

How to reduce phantom power

The easiest way to stop phantom power is to simply unplug your appliances and electronics when you’re not using them. If this isn’t practical, then consider plugging appliances into a power bar or “smart strip.”

Try to group appliances that you use together into the same power bar, like a computer and printer in your home office, a television, video player and stereo in the living room or a coffee maker and toaster in the kitchen.

Make sure power bars are located in spots that are easy to reach so you can turn them on and off.