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Combatting Phantom Power


Although you may be gearing up to ward off a horde of ghosts and goblins this Halloween, now is a great time to start combating the phantoms already haunting your home.

Phantom power, also known as standby power, vampire power or phantom load, is the energy used by certain plugged-in appliances and electronic devices, even when they are in standby mode or turned off.

The most common culprits include some household favorites, including electronics with remote controls, built-in clocks or timers and instant-on features such as televisions, computers, printers, video game consoles and DVD players.

While it might seem like a trivial amount, it’s spooky how much wasted energy can add up over time and show up on your monthly utility bills. According to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, as much as 10 percent of residential electricity use goes toward powering appliances in standby power mode.

“We want to help our customers control their energy usage by providing tips and tricks to keep household phantoms from catching them off guard,” said Melonie Stewart, vice president of distribution operations for Entergy in Louisiana. “There are several ways to control phantom power, some of which may seem like a small savings at first, but when added up over time can be significant.”

A few simple steps can help you ward off the energy-wasting horde and save on your energy bill:

  • Purchase an advanced power strip and plug appliances into it.
  • Unplug small transformers (battery chargers and power adapters) when products are fully charged or not in use.
  • Check the label. If purchasing an Energy Star-labeled product, choose the model that uses the least amount of standby power. If the amount isn’t listed on the label, visit the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star website to find information about specific products.
  • For more information on energy conservation and a variety of money-saving tips, visit:

Entergy Louisiana, LLC provides electric service to more than 1 million customers and natural gas service to nearly 93,000 customers in the greater Baton Rouge area. With operations in southern, central and northeastern Louisiana, the company is a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation.

Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including nearly 9,000 megawatts of nuclear power. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.9 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of approximately $11 billion and more than 13,000 employees.

Louisiana Editorial Team