Am I Using Electricity?

Old 01-12-03, 07:47 PM
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Am I Using Electricity?

on an appliance plugged into an outlet even though it is not turned on? Need your expertise to clear this with a friend. Thanks.
Old 01-12-03, 08:03 PM
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It just depends on the appliance. For example, a coffee maker with a clock--yes, a simple mechanical toaster--no.
Old 01-13-03, 07:06 AM
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The loads presented by off-but-still-on items are often referred to as 'phantom loads'. Anything with a built in remote control is always partly on. If the microwave has a touch panel it is always partly on. Anything with a clock that does not have a battery (and even some with a battery) is always partly on. Electronic thermostats pull power from the heater control circuit. The power used is normally very little, but it is there. A year is 8,760 hours. So a 1 watt load running for an entire year would use 8.76 kilowatt-hours. At 12 cents/kW-h you spend $1.05 per year to keep that 1 watt load runnning. More watts, more money.

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