If you're interested in reducing your energy bills, along with your carbon footprint, making changes to lower your energy usage is a great place to start. Most of us know that to reduce our energy bills we should try to make more of an effort to turn off appliances, such as televisions and computer monitors, at the wall rather than leaving them on standby. This is one of the best ways to ensure that the appliances in your home are working as efficiently as possible, and stops them from consuming power when they aren't even in use.
Although the majority of consumers are aware of this downfall, so many of us still don't bother to make the effort to turn our appliances off standby. So here at GB Energy Supply we've put together a guide to Standby Energy which will hopefully help you to change your ways.
The Top Offenders
Most families in the UK would admit to leaving their televisions on standby when they're not using them. If you're not watching your television, turning it off at the wall is a very small step which could contribute to saving you significant money. Similarly with game consoles, leaving them on standby leaves them in an 'idle' mode which uses almost as much energy as they would if they'd been left on. You wouldn't leave your house having left your games console up and running for days at a time, so why do it on standby?
Another top offender is the wireless router. We're all reliant on this magical device while sat at home glued to our smartphones and laptops, streaming a film, or listening to our children play games online. However, when we're at work or asleep, there isn't much need for Wi-Fi, and turning the router off in these periods can help to save over £20 each year. Just remember to turn it back on when you get home, or your children will complain within seconds!
By making these small changes to your everyday routine, you could save up to £80 a year through not having to pay for the excess energy used to power the appliances you've left on standby.
How to Break the Habit
One of the easiest ways to try and get yourself remembering to turn appliances off standby is to attach all of related standby appliances to one extension lead adaptor. This way, when you are done with your television, game console, computer or whatever else you may have on throughout the day, you only have to flick one switch to turn off all of these appliances, making it a far easier task and increasing the likelihood that you'll actually do it. Make sure you check the rating of the extension lead (most are 13A) though, to ensure that the appliances won't exceed it. If in doubt, spread the appliances out over a couple of different extensions leads, to avoid an overload.
Another important factor in breaking this habit is to try and incorporate turning these appliances off into your daily routine. Get into the habit of checking the house before you go to bed to make sure all of the standby appliances have been turned off at the wall. Soon, you won't even notice you're doing it, but you will notice the difference when it comes to paying your energy bills.
If you have younger children in the family who don't find it as easy to remember to turn things off at the wall, why not try putting up signs throughout the house, or even just on the appliances which they use the most, reminding them not to leave it on standby.
If you aren't having much success in getting into the routine of turning all your appliances off standby every day, why not try installing a standby saver to make it a little easier? Standby savers can work via remote control, allowing you to switch off up to four plugs at once, and therefore ensuring that you aren't needlessly wasting energy on these devices when they aren't in use. These plugs will usually cost around £20, so weigh up the savings against the cost of the plug before you make the decision to buy. As they do use a small amount of power themselves, standby savers should only really be used if you can't see any other way you'll remember to switch things off at the wall.