Standby Power is Costing the Earth.

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The power drawn by a single device in standby mode may seem quite small, but when there are a lot of devices in a household that are in the same boat, it can add up to quite a large amount of expensive energy that is being wasted. It has been estimated that nearly one tenth of all the electricity consumed annually in the UK is used by items that are just sitting there waiting to be turned on.

A typical appliance will draw around 10 to 15 watts in standby mode. Although the energy required for the typical standby functions such as remote control receivers and small LCD displays is quite low, when a lot of these items are plugged in at the same time, it can account for over a fifth of all the electricity used by appliances in the typical household.

A study conducted in the US in the late nineties concluded that around 5 percent of all the electricity usage in America could be attributed to vampire draw, equivalent to the output of 18 standard-size power stations running at full capacity, and costing around 3 billion dollars annually. An American study in 1998 estimated that vampire power consumption was responsible for around a twentieth of all the residential electricity usage in America, costing around three billion dollars annually.

The study also found that around seventy percent of the electricity used by home electronics devices such as TVs, stereos, and video players, was consumed by devices in standby mode. The simplest way to avoid wasting all this valuable energy is to unplug devices when they are not in use, or use a power strip with individual switches to turn them off.

There are steps being taken by manufacturers and legislators to ensure that this does not continue to be such a problem in future. For example, in the UK, all new appliances must, by law, not consume more than one watt of power in standby mode, and many other countries have done the same or similar, with particularly strict legislation coming into force in the US state of California. Major electricity suppliers like British Gas are now focused on saving energy

AllThingsGreen sells a range of energy saving products and solar garden lights for your home.

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