Standby is on in most electrical appliances and it means that you can still have the appliance ‘on’ without physically using it. The best example of standby power is on television, as the little red light on most televisions means that if you turn it on, it will take much quicker as the television is on ‘standby’.
If you were to manually turn on a television every time, it would require you to turn it on at the wall, and wait for it to start up, which can sometimes take a couple of minutes.
Of course, standby electricity does not contribute to the majority of your bill, but 9-16% of your energy bill comes from appliances being left on standby. This could be your dishwasher, television, phone chargers and virtually anything that is plugged in at a wall.
Older appliances on standby cost more, so if the majority of your appliances are over ten years old, it may be worth making some small changes (turning things off at the power socket) so you can see some incremental savings on your electricity bill.
There is a greater cost associated with standby, as you also continue contributing to your carbon footprint when leaving these appliances on when you do not necessarily need them.
So, how can we reduce the cost of appliances on standby?
- Turn them off at the plug:
This is a habit that can be hard to get in to, but turning off your appliances by the socket daily, is a great way to reduce the standby cost. Try it with your television, microwave, and dishwasher first.
These are the larger appliances that you may not use daily, and then slowly introduce other appliances to turn off as time goes on. You might be best leaving yourself a reminder on the fridge with a tick list of what to turn off before you leave the house!
- Socket timer:
Buying a socket timer will automatically turn off your appliances after a particular time. Great if you have a busy schedule or you know you will be forgetful with turning them off.
- Only charge when you need to:
Charging laptops and phones happen daily due to how much we rely on technology on a day to day basis, but try and limit your charging at home to once a day (morning or night) and then when you are done, turn it off at the wall.
Another great way to save on standby power is using an in-car charger, or charging your phone at the office!
- Smart meter:
A smart meter is a great way to keep track of how much standby power is costing you, so buy one and keep tabs on how much things are costing you per day.
- Educate housemates/family:
If you are the only person in the household remembering to do it, it will not be as impactful as a whole home. Educate your housemates, reward your children for good practice when it comes to standby energy, and you will soon see how much you can save!
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