Phantom Loads

Unexpectedly high electricity use by common appliances and tools can increase electric bills

The sudden arrival of cold temperatures is no surprise in Minnesota, but what can cause a fright is a sudden change in your bill which results from an increased use of electricity.

Managing “phantom loads” by unplugging or turning off all the electric appliances and tools that have standby modes which continue to use electricity has been a best practice for a long time. Here in the north, Connexus members should also be aware of fall and winter-specific tools and appliances that can use a lot of electricity.

Specifically, constant use of indoor space heaters and outdoor heat cable/tape can result in electric bills $20-$50 more than your typical usage. And if these heaters are running continuously for 4-6 months, your bill might be even higher.

An energy assessment from your nonprofit energy advisors at Connexus can help you identify ways to reduce your use and save you money. To discuss an energy assessment for your home, complete the online form.

Energy assessments cost just $40 for Connexus members and will assess energy uses and provide recommendations on reducing usage and saving money. Income qualified members may be eligible for a free assessment and materials.

Learn if you qualify for a free visit.

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