Eco Tip – Standby to switch off

HEATING BILLS are falling for the summer months, but your house still consumes more energy than it needs to if everything stays on standby. It may only be a few pence a day, but it mounts up for umpteen electrical items each year.

We’re used to the ‘turn off the lights’ mantra, but you could save up to £70 a year by switching things off at the socket, not by the ‘not really off’-button. There isn’t a sane ‘average saving’ figure, as it depends upon the number of units and their age, but last year (before all the rises in costs) Ovo energy reckoned the average was £40 per household. Another survey of UK households found an average of ten items on standby that hadn’t been used for a year!

Look round the house and garage/shed, focusing first on the big users: TVs, game consoles, loudspeakers, computers and monitors. Is the convenience of 24hr standby worth the cost, or could it be switched off for most of each day/week? Of course, it may not be easy to switch things off as the remote control puts things on standby and the power point may be tucked inside a cupboard!

Finally, think about your charging habits. Are you charging your phone/laptop, removing the charger when the battery is at 100% and then using the unit until it asks for recharging? Or is it constantly being charged for no purpose other than to reduce the battery life and cost you money?