Here are some of the worst offenders in the Phantom Load area.
My Model VIP 622 DVR DISH Receiver/Recorder:
This rather innocent looking small TV uses 10 watts when plugged in but turned off. There are no lights or any other indication that power is being consumed.
I had this sitting in the basement for years plugged in, but only used once or twice a year. This costs 90 KWH a year -- about 550 KWH and $55 of electricity for the 6 years it was plugged and not doing anything, not to mention a 1000 lbs of unnecessary CO2 emissions.
The following are not strictly speaking Phantom Loads, but they fall into the class of devices you might be leaving on all the time at considerable cost in dollars and greenhouse gas:
Leaving a computer and its related peripherals on can consume a great deal of power.
The potential savings in cost and greenhouse gas are very large ...
Radon Mitigation Fans
If your house has a Radon mitigation fan, it may be consuming as much as 1200 KWH a year!
While you don't want to forgo Radon protection to save energy, there are a number of Radon mitigation schemes that use little or no power. I believe that many Radon mitigation installers just opt for a large Radon mitigation fan because they know that it will do the job and they won't have to come back. But, this approach can cost you well over $100 a year, and result in more than a ton of CO2 emissions.
More on this subject in a couple weeks.
Leaving a couple of 60 watt lights on all the time on your porch could use 1000+ KWH of electricity and result in 2000 lbs of CO2 a year. Even if they are only on at night, its still a considerable waste of money and greenhouse gas emissions.
Think about just turning them off except when you really need them -- you might like the view of the stars more the glare from the lights. Or, consider a motion detector to activate the light. If you must have lights on outside all night for some reason, use efficient lights -- some brands of Compact Fluorescents work fine outside in cold temperatures.
There are also a variety of solar powered, motion sensing lights that work well and don't use any grid power at all.
Gary Nov 4, 2007