Phantom Load

Phantom load or “standby power” or “leaking electricity” refers to electricity consumed by devices while they are switched off. Many electrical devices – from air conditioners to VCRs – cannot be switched off completely without being unplugged. These products draw power 24 hours a day, often without the knowledge of the consumer. In particularly inefficient designs, the standby power use can be as high as 15 or 20 watts. For a single appliance, this may not seem like much, but adding up the power use of the billions of appliances in the U.S., the power consumption of appliances that are supposedly “off” is significant. For example, it is estimated that all TV and VCR that are turned off cost Americans nearly a billion dollars a year in electricity.
weblink: US government page on standby powerfrom: Jeffrey Langholzin detail XlnkS5A0 XlnkC18A9