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Halloween isn’t the only time phantoms are among us—an actual terror may already be in your business. These “energy vampires” are all too real and all around, running up your energy bill even when you are not actively using them.
Take for example the seemingly innocuous cell phone charger. As cell phones have become a staple of modern life, so have the devices that power them. To ensure that they’re always “connected”, we have them in our purses, brief cases, and at our desks. What most people don’t realize is that chargers are continually drawing power, even when no device is connected to them.
Here are some simple tips to cut back on phantom energy:
- Unplug devices you don’t use often. This won’t work for a clock, but anything else that you use from time to time (fans, heaters, etc.), you should unplug until the next time you need it.
- Use power strips. Power strips allow you to toggle the power flow on and off. This will allow you to control the power usage of devices so that they’re not consuming electricity when you’re not around. Using a light switch that turns power outlets on and off accomplishes the same end.
- Curb idle time in devices such as computers. Simply setting your computer to sleep mode can actually save a lot of energy and money.
- Make smart upgrades. When it comes time to send your old devices to the graveyard, you should also consider replacing them with Energy Star devices. They have a lower standby consumption than your average device and generally use less energy in all their functions—a savings you should take into account when comparing similar products.
Information from energy.gov.