Don’t standby and waste energy!


Standby mode means an electronic device consumes energy even when it is not in use. You might think now that the actual energy consumption cannot be that bad in standby mode. You are not completely wrong, but standby power, when looked at over a volume of devices and time, adds to significantly to the energy expense incurred by a household or a business.

Let’s do quick maths

Leaving your mobile phone charger plugged in, but not charging, uses 0.009 kWh a day. This doesn’t seem a big number, but if you leave it on for a year, it consumes the same power as a heating a bath for a 3.5 kWh or 90 litre soaking. Just think about how many mobile chargers stayed plugged in at your home today.

What about a Microwave? On standby mode it uses 0.096 kWh a day. Having a shower uses 1.4 kWh, which means leaving the microwave on for 2 weeks uses the same power as having a 40L shower.

An average household with 2 television sets, 3 telephones, a computer and various other appliances like microwave, hi-fi etc. uses 600 kWh per year on standby mode. The average electricity rate for a household is about 14 pence/kWh. This means you pay about £84 for standby electricity in every year, for which you get nothing, because your device is not in use.


For a business the price of standby consumption can be even higher considering the number of appliances they use as a business.


With these costs in mind, there are very simple steps to reduce standby energy consumption.


Quick tips


  • Energy Star products: when purchasing a device consider how energy efficient it is and make sure it has a lower standby mode than the others.

  • Use a power strip with switches: Keep a power strip under your desk and just switch off your printer/phone charger/lamp/shredder when you are not using it.

  • Unplug: to reduce standby power load just unplug your products.


All in all, doing something for your environment and saving energy will not only make your feel better, but you can easily save money too!

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Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.