Be a Phantom Power Detective!


phantom power, detective, electricity, Not many animals are more energy efficient than a snake. Some skilled serpents can go half a YEAR without food by dropping their energy use to super low levels. They’re able to stay alive by running only their most important parts, like their heart and lungs.

Can you imagine a building that could do the same thing? In fact, it’s totally possible for schools to be more energy efficient – want to help? Start thinking like a serpent and slip around your school as a Fantom, er, I mean PHANTOM Power Detective!

A Phantom Energy Patrol isn’t just about turning off the lights. It’s also a way to figure out the hidden sources of energy waste in your school. Phantom energy is the energy used by appliances or electronic gadgets that are turned off but are still plugged in, such as:

  • TVs, Computers, DVD players
  • Videogame consoles
  • Microwaves, Phone chargers and Stereos

Follow these simple steps and you’ll be on your way:

  1. First, find a teacher willing to help you organize a patrol
  2. Create something to identify members of the patrol (e.g. stylish uniforms, arm badges)
  3. Make a list of all the devices in your school that use phantom power.
  4. Explore the school as a group, with your teacher, and design an energy map to see what areas and devices use the most phantom energy. You can even ask your teacher about getting a handheld machine that tells you how much energy different things are using.
  5. Make a reminder poster for classrooms that leave appliances on, or plugged in.
  6. Take a reading from the energy meters on the outside wall of your school before you start, so you have something to compare to later on.
  7. If your school doesn’t have an outdoor energy meter, you could ask your teacher if you could see the school’s energy bills over the next few months.
Earth Rangers is a non-profit organization that works to inspire and educate children about the environment. At kids can play games, discover amazing facts, meet animal ambassadors and fundraise to protect biodiversity.


  1. I am a phantom power detective:)
    I LOVE EARTHRANGERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. it’s a good thing I listen my mom when she says turn of the lights when you are not using it

  3. I just got my class into helping me fundraise to help the grey fox and I love this idea especially since I have a really big school.Thanks for the idea!