Why switch off standby power?
Power used by appliances can account for 25% of the total energy consumed in an average household. As the majority of these energy-sucking devices use a built-in standby mode even when they are not operating, power is consumed day and night. Switching off these ‘vampires’ at the power-socket eliminates standby power – saving the average household at least $120 per year on their electricity bills.
On average, household standby power consumption remains at around 10% of total residential energy consumption. Nationwide, gadgets in standby power mode cost Australian consumers an extra $1.1 billion per annum in energy costs and result in nearly 5.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.*
The number of appliances that run on mains power in a typical house has increased to 67 (ranging from a low of 26 to as many as 175 appliances in some homes). The home office and home entertainment categories now equate to over two thirds of standby power consumption, with both big vampire gadgets like computers and smaller vampires like phone chargers. NB: phone chargers are a particularly sneaky species of vampire as they consume standby power even when the phone is unattached!
The worst offenders (in terms of power consumption in standby and off modes) are:
• Computers and computer related equipment: computer speakers, monitors, printers, scanners, multifunction devices, external hard drives, networking products (switches, modems, routers);
• VOIP equipment;
• LCD televisions;
• Plasma televisions;
• Set top boxes;
• DVD recorders and PVRs;
• Games consoles;
• iPod docking stations;
• Integrated stereos;
• Portable stereos
However any appliance that requires a remote control or has a digital clock display will suck energy, even when not in use. Some less well known vampires include counter-top appliances such as microwaves, coffee machines, bread makers and mixers. Less obtrusive vampires include camera battery chargers, electric toothbrushes and cordless power tools. And even many energy star-rated appliances keep their clock settings when turned off.
Have you had enough of the vampires invading your home and wallet? Forget about a wooden stake through the heart, to kill a vampire you simply need to eliminate its source of power by switching off at the wall. If you find it hard to reach power sockets stuck behind furniture (or simply find it difficult to remember), consider using an EcoSwitch to wage the war. With a single flick of the green glowing switch, those energy-sucking vampires will soon become nothing more than folklore!
* Data from the ‘Third Survey of Residential Standby Power Consumption of Australian Homes – 2010′, a joint initiative of Australian, State and Territory and New Zealand Governments.