Gaines Group Architects

Green Terms Defined: Vampire Loads

vampire loadsVampire loads, also called phantom loads, are hidden electrical loads that can impact your energy-efficiency goals without you noticing. A vampire load is the power consumed by electronics and appliances while they are technically switched off or in standby mode. This occurs in some devices that have an on / off switch, but keep a power load in order to save memory, turn on faster, or run a clock. It also happens with things like phone chargers that do not have an on / off switch. If these items are plugged into an outlet, they are pulling power whether in use or not. Most appliances with a remote control also have a constant load. For instance, a television uses the same amount of electricity as a 60 watt light bulb when turned off.

The best way to manage vampire loads is by using a power strip or simply unplugging the device. This could potentially save you as much as 10% a month in energy usage.

To read more from our “Green Terms Defined” series, click here.