Check and avoid consumption of appliances in standby

One of the first tips to follow to reduce costs in the bill is avoiding losses and hidden consumption. The red light that we see on many of our appliances is a light that should remind us that it uses electricity to stay on, so it consumes even if we are not using that appliance.

How much do appliances in standby affect consumption

How much can that red light cost? The SELINA (Standby and Off-Mode Energy Losses In New Appliances Measured in Shops) project has also focused on this topic, developed between October 2008 and September 2010, thanks to the support of the European Commission's Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation (EACI), all within the Intelligent Energy for Europe (IEE) program.

In Europe, the average consumption of standby appliances is around 305 kWh per home each year (11% of total consumption). World consumption in standby causes 1% of total CO2 emissions. According to the International Energy Agency, by 2030 15% of electricity consumption in Europe will be due to the standby capabilities of appliances.

To give some concrete examples, just think that the standby consumption of a TV with one or two connected devices (decoder, console, etc.) can vary from 13 to 50 KWh per year. The power light of a PC monitor alone can consume from 10 KWh / year upwards.

The European legislation (Energy using products directive) provides for maximum consumption limits on standby (passive), unfortunately, however, still not all producers are aligned with this directive, so it is necessary that each of us adopt strategies to avoid this waste, let's see which ones.

Tips to avoid consumption of appliances in standby

The main advice valid in general, for all electrical appliances, is to avoid standby, use multi-sockets and use a wattmeter that helps us understand which are the energy-consuming appliances, paying more attention to them.

TV and entertainment equipment

Game consoles, stereos, cable boxes, modems… should be unplugged if not in use. Just think that consoles consume as much in standby as in use.

For the TV, in particular, a series of energy saving functions can be set, in order to limit consumption even during use. In addition, LED models consume less than LCDs and large screens consume more than small ones.

Computer and electronic devices

  • The monitor must be turned off when not in use and, in addition, it is a good idea to set it for energy saving (for example the sleep timer).
  • Using the multi-sockets with switch (standby killer) helps with a single gesture to turn off all the peripherals.
  • The computer can be put into hibernation to save all data, but without turning it off completely. This mode ensures the same consumption as the total shutdown. The laptop consumes less than the desktop computer, may have lower performance, but ensures greater energy savings.
  • It is best to avoid leaving chargers plugged into the socket even if they are not in use.

Domestic appliances

Espresso coffee machines consume a lot in standby, so always make sure they are turned off. Dishwashers, washing machines and dryers must be turned off and with the door closed, as some models remain ready for use if the door is open.


Home automation and Smart Home devices

Today on the market there are wi-fi multi-sockets that can be controlled by the smartphone and that allow us to control switching on and off even remotely.

And if we are in the process of renovating, we can consider making our home smarter, taking advantage of the advantages of home automation for energy saving, for example, by turning off all devices with a tap to avoid standby, or by programming the ignition and the switching off the heating system conveniently from a smartphone app.