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Ghost Energy

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Ghost energy, phantom load, vampire power, it all refers to the electricity that gets used when we have stuff plugged in but not in use.

I’ve heard this term for a while but never really thought about it much until I saw someone report that they started unplugging things when they left their house and it saved them $20 per month. Upon reading more, I see that estimate appears to be greatly exaggerated but it seems that phantom load might be a real thing.

Cell phone and laptop chargers, microwave, cable box, coffeemaker, printers or anything with a power light, clock or remote control all use a small amount of energy even when we are not using them. Anything with a plug could be a culprit.  According to the ghost energy calculator that I found at, I could save almost $73 per year if I killed my ghost usage.

Other sources say that we should not stress because most newer electronics generally have much lower energy usage. If you really want to geek about about it then you need to find the watts being used then you can measure it. I don’t think I will be going that far, but I may pull out a few power strips and put them to use.

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