One of my bad habits is that I don’t switch off the TV at the socket before I go to bed – it drives my husband insane. But, according to our latest survey, I’m not alone. Do you switch off your tech products at night?
It seems most of us leave technology products on at night. Of the 1,496 people we asked, 98% have a TV, 96% a printer and 80% a desktop PC (despite talk of the latter’s imminent demise).
Of those who own these, just 60% turn off their TV, 71% their printer and 60% their desktop computer at night.
In these times of spiralling energy costs, why aren’t more of us switching off our tech before we hop into bed?
Switching off is too much hassle
The main reason I don’t switch off is, like over half of our survey respondents, because it’s too much hassle to do so. Writing that here makes it sound like a poor excuse. Is it really too hard for me to take the few steps from the sofa to the TV’s plug socket?
Laziness is a poor excuse, but physical design is to blame too. As my colleague Al Warman wrote earlier this year, many TVs no longer come with a physical on/off switch – their power buttons will only put them in standby. This means that you’re forced to reach for the socket. And in our survey, around one in ten blamed the lack of a hard on/off switch for not turning off their tech at night.
The second most popular reason for not switching off is that four in ten believe that the amount of money saved will be minimal. And there’s some truth in that. Our tests reveal that most TVs consume less than 1.5 watts when in standby, meeting recommendations set out by the Energy Saving Trust.
A little energy goes a long way
While the savings may be small, it seems crazy not to switch off these devices at night. Even with the move towards energy-saving light bulbs the only light left on in our house at night is a small night light in my daughter’s bedroom.
This night light serves its purpose, whereas there’s absolutely no need for our TV, desktop and printer to stay on at night. I can’t remember the last time I engaged in a spot of late night printing, or web surfing for that matter.
And if you multiply the energy used by the 29% not switching off their printers, the 40% running all-night desktop computers and another 40% leaving their TVs on standby, it doesn’t take long to realise that collectively huge savings could be made.
With winter drawing near and my own energy bills set to rise I’ll be changing the habits of a lifetime and turning off my tech products at night. My husband will be delighted.