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Powering the nation study finds households spend £86 a year on standby

The findings are the result of a huge study by the Energy Saving Trust that looked into the energy usage of 251 households, termed ‘Powering the Nation’.

The standby costs of televisions, satellite boxes and audiovisual equipment were the worst offenders, with standby use accounting for between 9% and 16% of the average electricity bill of around £500.

Turning equipment off standby not only slashes energy bills, but could also help those in fuel poverty cut their bills and reduce carbon emissions, claims the report.

Reducing standby costs – TVs and Computers

– Turn off your TV when you’re not watching – it may sound obvious but most of us don’t do it. Many new TVs also have improved standby efficient, with typical energy usage below 1 watt, far less than older models.

– Turn the brightness of your TV to adjust to your room – the factory settings are typically brighter than necessary. Some TVs also have an ambient light sensor – so if you’re watching in a darker room with the sensor switched on it will reduce consumption by adjusting contrast automatically.

– Lots of people listen to the radio through their TV. If you do this try to use the radio screen blanking feature. Also, if you’re buying a new TV think about the energy implications of the size and type of screen you choose. For example, energy-efficient 32-inch LCD screens use about half the power of a 42-inch plasma screen.

– Change the setting on your TV to energy-saving mode, which dims the backlight and should drop power consumption by a third. Or if you’re getting a new TV look out for the energy-saving Trust recommended label.

– Computers use similar power whether they are busy or not, that’s why ‘sleep’ mode is so useful rather than leaving your computer running.

 Standby gadgets

There are a range of energy-saving standby gadgets which can automatically turn your gadgets off if they’ve been inactive for a while or leave the room.

The Savasocket plug runs on a low wattage and includes an infared remote which allows you to turn off all your standby devices by pressing once button.

Alternative, the EnergyEGG is a motion-sensor which turns your gadgets off when you leave the room for a certain period of time.

You can follow the presentation of ‘Powering the Nation’ on our twitter feed @uswitchuk with the hashtag #PoweringtheNation