Standby energy

Whether its climate change or expense, standby energy affects you.
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Standby energy

Standby energy costs can be insidious. Look around your house and you’ll find many appliances: TVs, microwavesphone chargers, washing machines and Blu-Ray players, the list goes on. And they all use energy even when you think you’ve turned them off.

Standby energy costs eat into your bank account in small bites, but the bigger cost doesn’t necessarily show up in your quarterly electricity bill. The total cost of standby energy across the country can amount to tonnes of CO² and other greenhouse gases being emitted.

To understand the real cost of standby energy, CHOICE has compiled a list of common household appliances and compared the standby energy of the most efficient model with the least efficient. If you have a lot of appliances that fall into the least efficient category, you could be paying up to $100 or more per year for unnecessary power and contributing more than 1000kg of greenhouse gases to the environment.

What you can do

When shopping for your next appliance, look for the one with the lowest standby energy score in our test results. To make the most savings, however, remember to turn off your appliances at the wall where possible, whether it is your TV, phone charger or microwave.

If you can feel heat coming from your laptop power pack, even when the appliance isn’t attached, it’s drawing enough energy to cost you money. If your home entertainment power plugs are impossible to get to for the mess of wires, there are clever devices that can help. When choosing an appliance that shouldn’t be turned off, such as a fridge, look for one that combines the lowest running cost and best performance to improve your savings even further.

Individually, most of these appliances draw only a small amount of energy on standby, but Australia-wide it adds up to an immense amount of power. And while standby costs may be a small part of your total power bill, isn’t it better to have the money in your pocket rather than the electricity company's?

Did you know you may be able to reduce the cost of your household energy by switching electricity suppliers? CHOICE shows you how.  

YEARLY STANDBY ENERGY COSTS Lowest Costs / Year Highest Costs / Year Lowest CO2 (Kg)  Highest CO2 (Kg)
Air con - Large $1.59 $24.60 6.75 104.07
Blu ray players / DVD player $0.00 $17.54 0.00 74.20
Cordless phone $0.91 $4.30 3.85 18.21
Dishwasher $0.00 $1.62 0.00 6.84
DVR $0.46 $58.31 1.93 246.68
Games consoles $0.57 $0.78 2.85 3.90
HD Set top box $0.73 $1.80 3.08 7.61
Kettle $0.00 $0.75 0.00 3.75
LCD Monitor $0.23 $3.53 0.96 14.94
Microwave oven $1.59 $7.52 6.75 31.80
Soundbars $1.00 $16.88 4.24 71.40
Multi function printer $0.00 $23.23 0.00 98.29
Small laptop $0.64 $1.46 2.70 6.17
Radio $0.23 $5.01 0.96 21.20
TVs - 100-107cm $0.57 $2.25 2.41 9.54
TVs - 116-119cm $0.57 $2.25 2.41 9.54
TVs - 66cm $0.57 $2.25 2.41 9.54
Washing machine $0.00 $2.55 0.00 10.79
Wireless router $10.73 $21.11 45.39 89.33
Total costs per year $20.39 $197.75 89.33 844.88

Electricity costs are based on 26c/kWh. CO² costs are based on 1.1 kg/kWh.



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