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Jane George, PPL Electric Utilities
Jane George

By Jane George, Regional Affairs Director, PPL Electric Utilities

Energy vampires are scary.  

And no, we’re not talking about those people who drain the energy out of you.  

We’re talking about all the electronic gadgets, gizmos, appliances and other devices that draw energy — commonly known as phantom loads — when they’re plugged in but not in use. Phantom loads can cost  a typical family $100 annually, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. But, by following these tips  all around your home, you can slay those monsters so you can save for what matters. 

In the home office: Although you may have signed off for the day, your home office laptops and  PCs are still on the job. Even in sleep mode, they can draw 15-21 watts, so turning them off  could save up to $15 annually on one device alone. And don’t forget about printers, scanners  and other equipment. Plug them all into a single power strip and say goodnight with one click.  Consider replacing older home office equipment with ENERGY STAR®-certified models as they  can provide as much as 75% savings on some products. Overall, ENERGY STAR®-certified office  products use about half the electricity of standard equipment.  

In the family room: Popular gaming systems use quite a bit of energy during game play, but did  you know that they also drain energy while in standby mode? If you want to save, activate built in power-saving settings that come with those systems. Then plug them, and every related  device, into a power strip and it will be game over for those devices with just a push of a button. 

In the kitchen: Before you move forward with your day, turn off all unnecessary kitchen  appliances. Individually they may not use much power, but add your coffee maker, microwave,  countertop television, toaster oven and other unused appliances together, and you could save  between $10 and $20 per year. 

Everywhere you charge: Do you keep your phone or laptop plugged in all day while you use it?  A fully-charged cellphone plugged into the wall still consumes 60% of what it consumes while  charging. And although keeping your chargers plugged in after you leave will use just a trickle of  power, when multiplied by the number of the same devices across the country, they account for  an estimated 10% of residential energy use nationwide. That’s a total of $4 billion in wasted  energy. 

All around you, energy vampires are draining your home of power and your wallet of extra money. And now, it’s time to slay them. 

For more information on all PPL Electric Utilities can do to help you save energy and money – including  information on our customer assistance programs – visit