What Is It?

Dirty electricity refers to spikes and surges of electromagnetic energy traveling along power lines and building wiring where only standard 50/60 Hertz AC electricity should be.

This type of EMF pollution is created by electronics and other electrical devices that must change or manipulate standard electrical current in one or another in order to operate. Dirty electricity is also known as dirty power, electrical noise, line noise, power line EMI (electromagnetic interference), and microsurge electrical pollution.

Common Sources of Dirty Electricity

  • Fluorescent light bulbs and tubes
  • Light dimmer switches
  • Desktop computers and laptops
  • Televisions
  • Cordless phone systems
  • Multi-Speed Fans
  • Solar power systems
  • Home entertainment systems
  • Video game systems
  • SMART meters and appliances
  • Wi-Fi routers and modems
  • Battery charging devices for cell phones, tablets, etc.
  • Blenders and mixers
  • Hair Dryers

How Dirty Electricity is Created

Dirty electricity is created by many electronics, appliances, energy-efficient lights, and other devices that run on electricity. It is more common now than ever before. Why? Because many modern devices no longer use standard AC electricity “as is.” Instead, they must “manipulate” electrical current in one way or another in order to operate.

For example, many electrical devices today must convert standard 50/60-Hertz AC electricity (alternating current) into other forms of electricity — such as low voltage direct current (DC) or higher frequency AC — in order to operate. And many devices now draw power from wiring intermittently, in short burst, rather than continuously. They do this by turning the flow of power to a device “on” and “off” repeatedly, often thousands of times per second. These processes interrupt the smooth flow of standard 50/60-Hertz AC electricity, which creates harmonics and erratic surges and spikes of electrical energy (i.e., voltage transients).

Once created, this unusable dirty electricity spreads throughout a building and even to other buildings via wiring and power lines. As it travels, it radiates potentially harmful electromagnetic fields (EMF) into living and work environments.

Dirty Electricity Concerns

Dirty electricity can interfere with the proper functioning of appliances and electronic equipment, a phenomenon known as electromagnetic interference or power line EMI. Today, when an electrical device draws power from a building’s wiring, its not only getting the standard AC electricity it needs as initial input, but also the erratic spikes and surges of energy (i.e., the dirty electricity) also present on the wiring. This can be problematic for electrical devices that are not well equipped to deal with this dirty electricity.

It also appears that dirty electricity may disrupt important electrical processes within our bodies, the most sensitive “electrical equipment” we have. Exposure to this type of electro-pollution has been associated with a wide variety of health problems such as cancer, asthma, sleep disturbances, fatigue, skin rashes and tingling sensations, allergy symptoms, headaches, muscle and joint pain, brain fog, memory loss, ADD/ADHD symptoms, depression, and more.

Measuring Dirty Electricity

The best way to evaluate specific characteristics of the dirty electricity traveling along building wires is to use an oscilloscope and spectrum analyzer. Unfortunately, these devices can be expensive and require expertise and experience to use effectively.

Plug-in EMI meters, such as the Greenwave Broadband EMI Meter shown below, provide a much easier way for most people to estimate the level of dirty electricity present on their wiring.

Plug-in dirty electricity meters are easy to use. Simply plug them into outlets to see how much electrical noise is present on nearby wiring. Doing this before and after installing dirty electricity filters can help you see the difference these filters make in reducing the dirty electricity on your wiring. These meters are also very helpful for guiding the installation of dirty electricity filters. They can help you identify significant sources of dirty electricity in your environment and determine the best number of filter to install in each room for optimal results.

NOTE: Meters designed to measure AC electric fields, AC magnetic fields, and wireless radiation (i.e., radio frequency/microwave radiation) present in the air are not good for accurately measuring dirty electricity.

Reducing Your Exposure

Here are examples of some ways to reduce dirty electricity in your home and other spaces.


  • Install dirty electricity filters in your home and other places where you spend a lot of time. The Greenwave Filters shown below are easy to use. Simply plug them into electrical outlets to significantly reduce the amount of dirty electricity present on the wiring in your environment. The less dirty electricity there is flowing along your wires, the less that will radiate into rooms.


  • Turn OFF electronics, appliances, energy-efficient lights, and other electrical devices when you are not actively using them.


  • Use standard incandescent light bulbs or 120 Volt (V) halogen bulbs rather than compact fluorescent light bulbs, fluorescent tubes, or LED bulbs. (Some LED bulbs are okay. If you want to use LED bulbs, make sure to choose a brand that does not produce high levels of dirty electricity. You can test this with a dirty electricity meter such as the Greenwave Broadband EMI Meter.)


  • Replace light dimmer switches with regular on/off switches.


  • If you have a SMART utility meter on your home, get it replaced with an analog meter if possible.

Learn More about Dirty Electricity and Greenwave’s Solution for Cleaning It Up!

Greenwave International on Worldwide Business with kathy ireland®

Aired Fall 2016 as sponsored programming on Fox Business Network.