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standby power

Standby power: What's the true cost?

18 Oct 2019


amaysim's digi marketing whiz

It’s never fun throwing away money on things you don’t use...

So why are many of us continuing to leave our devices and appliances on standby power?

wait a minute...what’s standby power again?

Standby power refers to electricity that’s consumed by appliances left on standby mode.

You know those little red-lights at the bottom of your TV and Playstation - yep those bad boys.

The result of these sneaky energy drainers is paying for electricity that you don't benefit from at all.

Standby Power

how much can standby energy cost your household?

According to the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, Australians spend approximately $860 million on standby power annually.

To put that in perspective, that’s roughly $100/per household each year.

Every household is obviously different, and the amount of usage consumed by standby activity in your home will depend on the number and type of appliances left on standby, their efficiency ratings and so on.

Regardless, no matter what way you slice it, there’s a tonne of energy being drained away that's chipping away at our wallets.

Kids See Ghosts

who are the major standby culprits?

Although the devices and appliances we use around the home are getting smarter and smarter, the below table from Canstar shows just how much of an impact standby activity can have on your power bill.

You may laugh at a few dollars here and there, but when it all comes together over the course of a year, it can make up a solid portion of your annual energy budget.

ApplianceHourly standby usageHourly standby costAnnual standby cost*
Television (LCD)2.3W0.06c$5.26
Games console5.4W0.15c$13.14
DVD player1.5W0.04c$3.50
Computer monitor1W0.03c$2.62
Washing machine1 - 6W0.03c - 0.17c$2.62 - $14.9
Clothes dryer2.6W0.08c$7
Air conditioner2W0.05c$4.88
Wireless modem7 - 10W0.2c - 0.29c$17.5 - $25.4

*Appliance left on standby mode, 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Assumes an electricity rate of 28.7c/kWh.

Source -Canstar

we've taken the hassle out of energy, with no rocket science rates or confusing discounts.

ways to reduce standby energy costs

Reducing standby energy usage doesn't require much effort and is usually as simple as turning devices off at the wall - however, we've rounded up a few additional tips to help inspire your savings journey;

  • Turn appliances off at the wall - This is the best way to guarantee your bill isn’t being blown out by standby power. Check for devices that don’t need to be left on overnight, such as microwaves and gaming consoles, and get into the habit of turning them off at the wall before you hit the sack
  • Update your standby settings. Many new consoles and smart TVs allow you to modify settings to reduce standby functionality. This may mean the device takes a few seconds longer to start up when turning it on, but that’s a small price to pay when you consider the positive impact it will have on your annual energy bill
  • Monitor device usage - Start thinking about which appliances you do and don’t use and be on the lookout to turn appliances off. Be realistic about your device usage and consider the areas in your house where you can rein in your usage
  • Keep the washing machine in check - Washing machines are one of the biggest standby energy drainers - so make sure you switch the machine off at the wall after use to avoid being charged for unused power
  • Update electrical boards -Some modern electricity boards can sense when your appliance has entered standby mode and will cut its electricity feed entirely. Not only can this help you save money, but it can also prove to be an important safety precaution for you and your family
  • Purchase energy efficient models - The energy efficiency star rating system not only indicates electricity usage running costs but gives guidance on standby running costs. The more energy efficient an appliance is, the less electricity it will use on standby, meaning the less money it will cost you to run