TXU Energy has launched Energy Thieves, a new Web based tool, to help customers identify the electricity "goblins" in their homes. Users can go room by room to calculate how much money each appliance costs, even with the power button off, and make changes that can save money. It can be used to create a customized solution that chases the phantom load away.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the average home has up to 40 appliances that draw phantom loads. That can be up to 10 percent of a home's overall electricity consumption and cost hundreds of dollars each year.
Televisions, satellite or cable systems, computers and audio systems are the leading offenders. But even small devices – cell phones, battery chargers, Bluetooth devices, portable gaming systems and audio/video devices – can be a shock to an electric bill if they remain plugged in after they are fully charged.
The site also provides easy access to helpful products at TXU Energy’s Online Energy Store. The Kill A Watt, for example, tells exactly how much energy each appliance uses.
Though launched in time for Halloween, Energy Thieves has already grabbed a prestigious Interactive Media Award for outstanding achievement. The Interactive Media Awards evaluate Web sites based on five criteria including design, content and usability. Out of more than 60 entrants in the energy category, Energy Thieves was the only Web site recognized.