Beware of Energy-wasting Phantom Load

Spooky season is upon us, and it’s a great time to find and reduce the phantom load in your home to save energy and money all year long.
Phantom load — or standby power — comes from the many electronics that draw power even when they aren’t in use. A typical American home has 40 products constantly drawing power, including DVRs, personal computers, video game consoles and DVD players. Together these amount to almost 10% of residential electricity use. In fact, ENERGY STAR® estimates that phantom load accounts for more than $11 billion a year in energy costs in the U.S.
Idaho Power encourages customers to reduce phantom load with these tips:

  • Enable power-save features on computers, TVs and videogame consoles.
  • Unplug electronic devices that don’t require reprogramming or aren’t frequently used.
  • Buy ENERGY STAR products, which have lower standby use.
  • Borrow a Kill A Watt™ meter from your local library to measure the standby use of devices in your home.
  • Use a power strip — or better yet a smart power strip — to control groups of electronics like computer or video equipment.

For more energy-saving tips, visit

Melissa Thom
Brand Engagement Lead