Unplug electronics when not in use to prevent phantom load


Office equipment keeps drawing power even when shut off.  Computers, printers, fax machines, coffee makers, microwaves, sound systems, chargers, and more continue to draw power long after staff are home for the night or the weekend.  Each device draws a few dollars, or even tens of dollars per year of electricity, when it’s not being used.  Collectively, they can be costing you hundreds of dollars, and producing tonnes of CO2 each year.


Unplug devices that are not in use – it’s as simple as that!
“Unplugging” can be automated using timed power bars, or smart power bars. Smart power bars automatically turn off peripherals (monitor, printer, speakers etc) when the main unit (computer) is off.
Mark the devices that really do need to stay plugged in even when turned off: servers, and fax machines for example.
The following are clues that a product uses standby power (phantom load):
– Remote control
– External power supply
– Digital display, LED status light, or digital clock
– Contains a battery charger
– Has soft-touch key pad
– Instant on
– Programmable
– Wifi connected
– “Smart” device
*A product that has one or more of these features uses standby power, but keep in mind that other products that use standby power may have none of these features.

Are you still using this equipment? Unplug items that may not be getting used anymore, and note the date you unplugged them – either in a log book, or with tape on the plug. If they have not been plugged back in within a month, maybe it is time to rehome them.

unplug sticker