Entergy: Watch for phantom power users
With Halloween fast approaching, Entergy Texas, Inc. is encouraging its customers to be on the lookout for phantoms – phantom power, that is.
Phantom power, also known as standby or vampire power, is the energy used by certain appliances and electronic devices, even when they are turned off. A variety of products and appliances, such as televisions, microwaves and cell phone chargers, use phantom power. While it may seem trivial, the amount of wasted energy can add up over time and show up on monthly utility bills.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, appliances and home electronics can account for as much as 20 percent of a typical monthly bill. And approximately 75 percent of the electricity used to power those products is consumed when the products are turned off.
“Phantom power can be compared to having a leaky faucet,” said Vernon Pierce, customer service director, Entergy Texas, Inc. “A few drips may not seem like a big deal but they can add up over time. Appliances and electronics that draw power even when you aren’t using them can add to your monthly power bill. Fortunately there are some simple ways to control phantom power and help you save money.”
Anything with a plug, a glowing light or a display can be a phantom power user. The most common culprits include electronics with remote controls, built in clocks or timers and instant-on features such as television, computers, printers, video game consoles and DVD players.
A recent study by the National Resources Defense Council showed that some cable TV boxes, which are often left on all day, can use as much power as a refrigerator.
Other common phantom power users are appliances such as washers and dryers, electric ranges and microwave ovens and household items that are charged through a wall plug such as digital cameras, power tools, cell phones and MP3 players.
Here are some simple steps that can help you fight phantom power:
· Use power strips. Connect several electronics to one power strip and turn off the strip when the products are not in use to completely disconnect the power supply from the power source.
· Unplug small transformers (battery chargers and power adapters) when products are fully charged or not in use. Small transformers come with many electronics and plug into standard wall outlets.
· Shop for appliances with all-in-one features, such as a phone with a built-in answering machine and caller ID display. This will reduce the number of small transformers plugged in and the amount of energy wasted.
· Check the label. If purchasing an Energy Star-labeled product, choose the model that uses the least amount of phantom power. If the amount isn’t listed on the label, visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s online database to view manufacturer-supplied data by category.
For more information on energy conservation and a variety of money saving tips, visit entergytexas.com/savemoney.
Entergy Texas, Inc. provides electricity to more than 400,000 customers in 27 counties. It is a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation. Entergy is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations.
Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, and it is the second-largest nuclear generator in the United States. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.7 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.