This week an Energy Saving Trust report hit the headlines with the claim that households could save £1.7bn a year by switching off appliances in standby.
The Trust said that we’re wasting between £45 and £80 a year by having all our household gadgets in standby.
Interestingly, I know from our testing that some of the latest gadgets, including TVs, are now impressively energy efficient. When it comes to standby, I personally feel it’s important to think smart with our energy use while still getting the best out of our products.
Energy efficient gadgets
Based on power-use data from our 2014 TV testing, even a high spec 55-inch LED HD TV will only cost you £31.13 a year to run. This is based on pretty heavy usage of five hours viewing per day, with the rest the time the TV being in standby mode, when it will use a miserly 0.22 watts.
We’ve found that new TVs with 4K ultra HD resolution use more power than HD ones, but even an equivalent 55-inch 4K model will only use 0.28 watts in standby mode and will cost you £44.61 to run per year on the above usage.
Plasma TVs use more power than LED models, but they’re on the way out. And if what we’ve heard about OLED screens is true, then TVs could become even more energy efficient in future.
Be smart with your switch off
Of course, having a house full of standby lights blinking away all the time isn’t great for your energy bills. If you know you won’t be using a gadget for a period of time, it’s best just to switch it off. However, there are smart things you can do to save energy.
Take the Xbox One, for example. If you have the console in its internet-connected ‘Instant on’ standby mode then it uses a hefty 11.1 watts (based on our test lab data). However, switch to the energy saving standby mode and power use drops to just 0.3 watts.
The benefits of standby
One drawback of switching the Xbox One to energy saving mode is that you don’t automatically get software updates, as with the Instant On mode, so there is the trade-off
That’s not the case with smart TVs, as leaving them on overnight allows for software updates to occur in the background and the TV will only use minimal power while in standby.
With broadband routers, some should be kept on 24/7 to maintain a consistent service performance and be ready for overnight firmware updates. Although this is the case for BT routers, Virgin says its customers can turn their routers off and not be negatively affected.
So, do you turn your tech off after use or do leave it on standby?