A “phantom load” refers to the energy sapped by appliances that are plugged in, but not on. Use power strips or manually unplug DVD players, computers and cell phone chargers to save electricity from disappearing without a trace. In the average home, 40% of all electricity is used to power home appliances while they are turned off. If all phantom loads in US homes were stopped, we could shut down 17 power plants.
Just a word of advice: don’t do this with your fridge . . .