Phantom power is another term for standby power, or power that appliances draw when they are plugged in but not operational. Since this power isn't necessary for the appliance, it usually represents a financial waste for the homeowner.
Phantom power use may represent up to 10 percent of a home's overall power usage. Some appliances have a legitimate need for continuous power, such as a microwave containing a clock or an answering machine. In some appliances, the use of standby power may be superfluous, however, such as a TV that does nothing more than turn on a little more quickly when on standby. Appliances may also simply waste or leak power when left plugged in.
Power waste can be reduced by unplugging appliances when they are not in use. If this is not practical, it may be easier to plug them into a power strip or surge protector with a toggle switch instead. As of March 2015, some types of appliances, such as refrigerators, are required to have energy-efficiency ratings, but most do not provide data to the consumer about potential phantom power use. Products with the "Energy Star" label are certified as having low standby power use.
There is a band in Alabama called Phantom Power, but their connection to appliances is unclear.