The Devices Secretly Running Up Your Energy Costs
Which devices use more energy when in standby mode? A phone charger or computer? Prepare to be surprised..
The vast majority of us already know that we should endeavour to turn off household electronics like televisions and computer monitors direct from the plug rather than leave it on standby mode. This is because the standby mode still consumes power even if the device is not ‘technically’ being used at the time. However, what most people are not aware of is that smaller home appliances and gadgets that quietly run in the background can be using up more energy than you might expect. For instance, did you know that the humble wireless broadband router will cost you around £21.92 while on standby mode (this is in addition to what it costs when you actually use it), according to Ecotricity. This does not even take into account the environmental costs (see the TED talk below that went viral after discussing how much energy we waste and suggests how behavioural science can help lower your energy bills).
Another striking example is the cost of a typical laser printer on standby for a year which comes in at around £18.26 per year. While desktop computers will typically cost £3.65/year. Do you have a plasma television? If you leave it on standby it will cost you around £4.87. Although these costs do not seem like a lot, they do add up. The Energy Saving Trust calculated that the average UK home spends up to £80 every year on devices left on standby while not being in use. It seems that the bulk of this cost is made up of your wireless router (£21.92/year), laser printer (£18.26) and set-top box from a satellite provider e.g. Sky (£18.26). Ecotricity is a green electricity company that has put together a helpful list of how much some of our everyday household electronics, gadgets and appliances when they are on standby and some of these might surprise you.
The typical energy cost of annual energy usage while on standby:
Printer (Laser) – £18.26
iPad charger – £12.18
Wireless Router (e.g. Sky Broadband) – £21.92
Amplifier – £12.18
Set-top box (e.g. Freeview) – £7.31
Set-top box (from a Satellite provider) – £18.26
Alarm Clock – £6.09
Sony PlayStation 3 – £6.09
Compact Hi-Fi – £12.18
Video Player – £4.87
Inkjet printer – £4.26
Desktop PC – £3.65
CD player / Tuner – £4.87
Air freshener plug-in – £4.87
Television (Plasma) – £4.87
Microsoft Xbox 360 – £6.09
Modem – £6.09
Electric toothbrush – £1.22
Mobile phone charger – £2.44
Microwave – £3.04
Childs night light – £0.73
Television – £3.04
Nintendo DS – £3.65
PC monitor – £2.44
Oven (Electric) – £3.65
Nintendo Wii – £12.18
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I would love to hear your thoughts…
Have some of the standby costs in this blog surprised you? Will you change how your home is organised to cut down on energy costs as a result of what you have learned from this article?
Please share your experiences and / or comments below.