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Expert warns homeowners against 'phantom load' which could be costing you hundreds a year

Expert warns homeowners against 'phantom load' which could be costing you hundreds a year

Finance professionals believe homeowners need to take note of the secret cost

If you're anything like me, I bet the phrase 'phantom load' fails to ring any bells and, if anything, sounds like a rather daunting (if not, NSFW!), prospect.

It turns out, however, the a huge proportion of UK homeowners are guilty of neglecting their phantom load on a daily basis, and are forced to suffer the rather pricey consequences of their mistake.

Still in the dark as to what I'm going on about? Well, let me ask you these three questions?

Do you regularly leave your telly on standby mode when you go to bed, as opposed to switching it off at the wall?

Or leave your hair straighteners plugged in - even if they're turned off?

Or go to work with your phone charger left switched on in the wall?

Are you a victim of the phantom load? (Getty/Michael Reeve)
Are you a victim of the phantom load? (Getty/Michael Reeve)

Well, if you answered 'yes' to any of these questions, then YOU, my friend, are a victim of the phantom load.

And the sad thing is that, you probably don't even know how much this'll cost you on an annual basis.

If I'm describing you, then don't worry. We're here to help.

This week, we caught up with Rachel Kerrone - a Personal Finance Expert at Starling Bank - who filled us in on everything we need to know about the dreaded phantom load, and warned homeowners exactly how much they could be inadvertently coughing up each year.

"As we slide into summer and the weather is warmer many of us will be expecting our energy bills to decrease as we switch off the heating, take advantage of using less electricity with lighter evenings and take less baths," she exclusively told Tyla.

"For many this won’t be the case - leaving a big question mark as to why. This could be down to the 'phantom load'."

TVs shouldn't be placed on standby. (upiir/Getty)
TVs shouldn't be placed on standby. (upiir/Getty)

Opening up about the most common things we could be guilty of, Rachel went on: "Essentially, this is leaving your appliances and devices turned on and in standby mode and plugged in and on at the wall.

"For example, just because you’re not boiling your kettle all the time doesn't mean that leaving your kettle switched on at the wall isn’t costing you anything. "This applies to a range of regular household appliances and devices - from your

kettle, microwave and air fryer, to your TV, Sky Box and Xbox."

Naturally, there are some unavoidable ways we fall for the phantom load bill.

"While there are the obvious things that need to be left on all the time - like your fridge and freezer, as well as your broadband router," Rachel says. "You shouldn’t ignore that flashing microwave clock or standby light from the TV."

According to research carried out by energy provider Loop, the average UK household could be wasting around £250 on their phantom load annually, with wasted energy contributing to around a third of an average energy bill.

Our finance expert recommends you unplug everything. (Getty/@Sally Anscombe)
Our finance expert recommends you unplug everything. (Getty/@Sally Anscombe)

It isn't just your finances that'll be taking a beating by the phantom load, it's the planet.

"Reducing your phantom load can also have an environmental benefit - by doing this, you’re not just saving your pennies, you’re also saving energy and reducing your carbon and methane emissions," Rachel explained.

"Worried you won’t remember how to reduce your phantom load and take things off standby mode, or to do it at all? Why not try to switch things off when you turn off your lights at night, or to only switch things on and off when you need them? "For example, if you’re after a cuppa, why not turn the kettle on when you need to boil your water, and switch it back off at the wall once you’ve made your brew?"

Noted, thanks Rachel!

Featured Image Credit: Emilija Manevska/Matthew Stone/Getty Images

Topics: Home, Money, Technology, Cost of Living