Energy-saving tips for your TV, computer and laptop, which could help you cut what you spend on electricity.
In an average home, the TV, DVD player, set-top box etc account for around 8% of the energy bill, while computers, laptops and printers make up another 5%.
Seven energy-saving tips for your TV
Switch off your TV when you're not watching, this will do more to reduce energy use than anything else.
Manufacturers have improved standby efficiency - in most new TVs energy usage is typically below 1 watt - so this is an option if you have a new TV, but if you have an older model, this mode may be using energy unnecessarily.
Switching to standby is better than leaving your TV on, but it's still more energy-efficient to switch it off completely.
Make sure the brightness of your TV is right for your room as the factory settings are typically brighter than necessary.
Also make sure you switch on the ambient light sensor - if you're viewing your TV in a darker room with the sensor switched on it can dramatically reduce power consumption by adjusting the contrast of the picture automatically.
If you're listening to the radio through your TV, make sure you use the radio screen blanking feature - it's a handy way to save energy.
If you're buying a new TV, think about the size and type of screen you choose. An energy-efficient 32-inch LCD will typically use half the power of a model with a 42-inch plasma screen.
In general, the smaller your TV, the less it will cost you to run.
Rather than using the normal viewing setting on your TV, switch it to energy-saving mode, this usually dims the backlight which means the power consumption should drop by a third.
If you're buying a new TV, look for the energy-saving Trust recommended label, that way you can be sure you are buying a TV with optimised energy-saving features.
Energy-saving tips for your computer or laptop
- A laptop is more energy-efficient than a desktop and monitor set-up.
- Laptops, desktops and monitors are becoming increasingly energy-efficient, especially when you compare LCD or LED monitors with the old-style tube or CRT monitors.
- Newer machines also have reasonably good power options, so they switch on and power down fairly quickly, making it less tempting to just leave your computer on unnecessarily.
- Computers effectively use similar power whether they are busy or idle. If you leave them doing nothing, they are using almost as much as if they are number crunching or accessing information, that's why 'sleep' mode is so useful.
- Use your power-saving setting: these are usually found in your computer preferences, and there are normally two options, either sleep or hibernate mode, both will turn off the monitor within a specified number of minutes of inactivity - with an old tube/CRT monitor energy usage may fall by half.
- Don't forget to switch off your computer and any peripheral devices, such as your printer and scanner, overnight. Check your back-up settings and make sure it is set up to run as soon as your computer is switched on again (in case your computer is switched off at the designated time).