Exorcise the phantoms

Eliminate sources of wasted energy in the workplace

Leaving electronics and other appliances running day and night is a fairly obvious way of wasting energy—and money. But did you know that some of them continue to drain energy when they’re not in use?

It’s called phantom loading, and it occurs all day long in most offices and homes. The culprits include items such as coffee makers, microwaves, stereos and anything else that stays on to power features like clocks. Phone chargers are a big energy-zapper, consuming up to 50 percent of the device’s wattage, even when disconnected from your phone!

Appliances with any these features will continue to use energy when shut off:

• AC adapter plug
• Battery charger
• Instant-on
• Internal memory
• Permanent display
• Remote control
• Sensor

Here are two ways to purge the dreaded phantom load:

Unplug: Unplugging appliances is the best way—the only certain way—to eliminate wasted energy.

Strip it: For convenience, you may want to buy some power strips and plug multiple appliances into them. Turn off the strips when the items are not in use.