If you’re on the hunt for “energy vampires,” it might be helpful for you to start by clarifying a few terms. You may hear or see terms such as baseload consumption, home idle loads, phantom loads or parasitic loads to describe how these devices consume energy, even when not in use, and contribute to your electrical bill.
Here’s how to figure out how the devices and appliances in your home are using energy:
"Always on" load
There are some devices that use power continuously, even when you’ve powered them off or put them in “sleep” mode. If you leave computers, set-top boxes and printers on overnight, they’ll be using power. Also, infrastructure appliances, like GFCI outlets, can use power continuously and will contribute to your always on load.
Some devices may not always be on, but they’re active enough in their energy consumption to be captured by the lowest hourly smart meter measurements. Some common contributors to intermittent loads include refrigerators, freezers, furnaces, air conditioners, aquarium heaters, humidifiers and dehumidifiers.
This term refers to power use by devices when they are actively being used, such as lights, kitchen and laundry appliances, TVs, computer and other consumer electronics.
Consider solar power
If you’re considering adding solar power to your home, banishing energy vampires in advance can help you “right size” the system you install. If you’d like to know more, contact your local solar installer for a free quote and to learn more about which type of solar installation is right for you.
Download our eBook, Energy Vampires, to learn more about the devices in your home increasing your energy consumption—without you even realizing it.