Is the scariest thing this Halloween your energy bill?  It is very likely, if you have a lurking phantom load in your home.

A phantom load is the electricity used by appliances and electronic devices while they are turned off or not performing their primary job. These power suckers can add as much as 10 percent to your energy bill. So how do you ward off these energy ghosts once and for all? Here are some tips to conjure up savings:

  1. Unplug devices that are rarely used. Examples include a television and DVD player in your guest room.
  2. Use a power strip with a switch to control groups of devices, such as computer clusters (computer, printer, speakers) and entertainment centers (television, stereo, game console). Keep devices such as a cable box and wireless transmitter on a separate circuit to avoid loss of connection.
  3. Use advanced power strips for computers and other devices. These “smart” power strips can sense when a device is turned off or not being used and will shut off the power automatically.
  4. Purchase ENERGY STAR certified appliances and electronic devices. ENERGY STAR products typically draw less standby power than standard models.

Still spooked by high utility bills? Our Money-Saving Quick Tips can help you find ways to save energy and money all year long.

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