Watch Out for Phantom Load!

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

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