Money wasted on phantom power

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – We all have things that we leave plugged in all the time. We turn them off when not in use, but some still pull electricity. It's called phantom power and you pay for it on your electricity bill.

Using a device called a "Kill A Watt" we can measure how much currency is pulled through a plug and what it costs.

In the kitchen, the toasters are always plugged in and when they're off, they use no power. When the coffee pot's not brewing morning Joe, its clock is always on. That'll cost me 3 cents a week or $1.75 a year. We use the microwave maybe two minutes a day, but the constant "on" will cost 6 cents a day or $3.50 a year.

This console holds a TV, DVD player, cable box and stereo. The TV costs more than $10 a year to leave it plugged in. The cable box, $14. But the worst offender is the stereo. I'm paying $20 a year for something that gets used once a week. The DVD player was the only component that didn't pull power when not in use.

If this lamp was on all year, it would use $46 worth of power, but turn it off and it's truly off.

I never turn my computer off, but I might start after looking at these numbers. Every week I spend $2.58 powering a computer I use for a fraction of that time. Over a year, that adds up to a whopping $141.

If you want to reduce your power bill, put all of your components on power strips and place the strips in a location that is easily accessible.

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