Design Room

Avoid "Phantom Load": Eliminate Energy Vampires

Most of the energy drained from your home comes from appliances that you may not even be using--like that second refrigerator.


At least 5% of the average household’s monthly utility bill goes towards powering devices that are turned off. TVs, DVD players, computers, printers, and cell phone chargers are just some of the devices that leak power even when they are turned off or on the "energy-saver" setting. In fact, 25% of the energy used by your TV each year is consumed when the TV is off.

How can you avoid wasting energy unconsciously?

  • Unplug or turn off all electronic devices and appliances completely when not in use for more than 1 hour. Or, plug your TV and accessories into a single power strip and hit the "off" switch whenever you are not in the room.
  • Use an adjustable thermostat throughout your home. This will help you use set the ideal temperature at various times of day or night, without continuously leaving on air conditioning, which wastes energy. It will also allow you to lower your carbon footprint by using the largest amount of energy at off-peak times, which reduced greenhouse gases and lowers your carbon footprint.


For more tips, or to learn how to conserve energy in your car, watch "How to save at the gas pump this season", including the new green hybrid bike, on

Remember, reducing your personal carbon footprint by just 2% each year can help minimize global warming by the year 2050.

If overhauling your entire life to "go green" still feels a little overwhelming, be willing to ask yourself powerful questions and take the time to find out what level of “green” on the continuum works best for your lifestyle, then commit to making a conscious change for the better.

Incorporating just one of these tips on an ongoing basis can actually make a world of difference, so experiment and have fun making your conscious lifestyle work for you!

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