Get Rid Of "Phantom Power Usage" In Your Home

Trent at is on a mission to cut the extra fat from his budget, and he’s found that one step is to reduce the amount of unused power that goes into his home. Everything you leave plugged in continues to draw a small amount of power, and although the cost for these small drains is minimal on a per-item basis, they can add up faster than you think.

Whenever you leave a device plugged into a wall socket, it continues to constantly draw a small amount of energy, without cease. Usually, this is on the order of 1 to 5 watts, which means that it would take 200 to 1,000 hours for a single device to even use a single kilowatt hour, which costs $0.10.

Let’s say you can find fifteen such devices in your house, and they use an average of 3 watts. That’s 45 watts around the clock – more than a kilowatt hour each day. Three bucks, every single month, without fail, and that’s assuming your devices are minimally draining. For example, my laptop charger uses 30-40 watts all the time when it’s plugged in.

One option is to just unplug things when you’re not using them (provided you don’t need them to remain on in the background, obviously). Another is to use power strips or—what Trent recommends—a $40 SmartStrip that lets you assign one device as a “switch” to cut the power to other devices—for example, your computer tower can serve as the master switch for all your peripherals.

You won’t double your retirement savings or anything with this, but—like fixing leaky faucets, using CFL bulbs, and making sure your home is properly insulated—it will help reduce the unnecessary expenses that nick away at your finances.

“The One Hour Project: Kill The Electricity Phantom” []

“The One Hour Project: Making Your Home More Energy Efficient” []
(Photo: Getty)