You are being charged for devices left on standby.
New research from provider British Gas has suggested households could save almost £150 per year by fully switching off electrical devices. Nicknamed ‘vampire devices’, these are electronic devices which continue to use power even when they are on standby.
As a result of this research, the Energy Saving Trust (EST) have suggested consumers should take time to consider which devices they can leave switched on, and which they should turn off completely in order to save money. EST have also said that costs related to individual appliances being left on standby depend on several factors, including the make and model of the item and individual use.
Brian Horn, Senior Insight and Analytics consultant at EST has suggested some practical steps consumers can take to save money. These steps include switching items off at the wall or unplugging them completely if there is no need for them to be on when not in use but switching off at the wall is fine if you need to ensure the plug remains accessible.
He suggests making your devices and electronics as easy as possible to switch off, so it doesn’t become a chore. If you have lots of electrical devices or appliances plugged into many different plugs, he says plugging them all into one extension lead is a good idea. You can then just switch off or unplug the extension lead, making it easier and quicker.
Why it matters
It may seem an obvious thing to do, but it is more important than ever to save money wherever possible. The 54% increase in the energy price cap has meant energy bills have risen to an average of £1,971 per year. With this set to soar even higher this autumn, starting to save energy now, and saving pennies where possible, could save you stress later on.
Similarly, getting into the routine of turning off items and the plug, and switching off devices wherever possible, will put you in good standing for this winter, which is set to be expensive. According to EST, 9%-16% of electricity consumed in homes is the result of appliances left on standby.
Yearly cost of appliances left on standby:
- TV: £24.61
- Games console: £12.17
- Computers: £11.22
- Microwave: £16.37
- Shower: £9.80
- Washing machine: £4.73
- Printer: £3.81
- Phone charger: £1.26
Recommendations from British Gas:
- Try not to overcharge your mobile phone and laptop unnecessarily.
- Add devices to an extension lead that can be switched off at night.
- Use smart plugs which allow you to turn off devices from your mobile phone.
- As soon as your device is charged, try and get into the habit of unplugging it.
- A smart meter’s in-home display can help to identify how much energy is used at different times of the day. This is useful to see where energy is wasted.