The following post is one of those blinding moments of inspiration that hits us once in a while and all I can see are benefits.
Standby mode uses a constant drain of power and the older the device the more the power drain. The total cost to the average household has been reckoned to be up to 10% of the total electricity cost that is lost while devices are in standby mode.
For all those who are reading this on their monitors you will notice that there is a power switch on your monitor so USE IT AND TURN IT OFF AT NIGHT – your monitor does not need to go into standby mode . If this seems like hard work then fit a timer switch to this as well.
Here is a list of devices we have running in our homes. A printer, mobile phone charger x no of occupants in the house, a PDA charger, Hifi, Games System, video, dvd and television x the no of occupants (or at least one in each bedroom!), laptop charger even the humble PC consumes a trickle of power when it is apparently switched off – feel the power transformers and they will be warm. Then we can get really pedantic and look at items such as the cooker and microwave which typically have LED lights which are powered all of the time (the shocking news is that the average microwave oven uses more power over its life to run the clock than it does cooking food! – FACT Google it!)
The solution is to turn these devices off but we are usually lazy and the off switch is usually located behind a cupboard or in an in-accessible place. Then the devices are spread all over the house.
Here is my brainwave. Get a timer switch or a set of them – 3 is all the typical household really needs. You need to make sure that the power rating of the timer switch is compatible with the power of the appliances plugged into it. As most devices are clustered together and generally run off a multi plug adapter anyway, so by fitting a timer switch you can half the standby time. For example you know you will not be watching TV from say 11:00 to probably the following evening so you can switch this off during those hours. Timer switches do obviously use a trickle of power so it would not be worth getting one for just the microwave but placing one on the main drains and particularly older devices will more than recoup its cost. People moan that all the settings are lost when devices switch off – this is usually assumed. Most modern appliances keep their settings when switched off and even a router will only take a few minutes to reboot.
Modern timer switches can have around 20 switching points and settings for different days. A few minutes of your time and a very small outlay for a few timer switches will save you money, help the environment, keep the cost of energy down and allow you to keep control of your (and your families) television viewing habits! Compare prices on timer switches in the UK here or see USA timer prices.