How much energy does standby mode use?

By Energy Company Numbers on November 25, 2016 in Help and advice

It is hard to measure exactly how much energy appliances use when they are on standby.

The reason we say this, is because all appliances use a different amount of energy even when they are on standby. So for example, a television will use a different amount of energy than a microwave oven when on standby. However, it has been estimated by The Energy Savings Trust that £80 of an annual energy bill is made up of standby power.

Related: How efficient appliances can save you on your monthly energy bill

In a report published by the The Energy Savings Trust, it has been revealed that 40 per cent of people leave their games console on standby when not in use and 75 per cent of people leave their television in standby mode when not in use.

These findings were made from an Ipsos MORI survey of over 2,000 UK respondents so they paint a clear and accurate picture of our current rate of energy wastage with regards to standby and appliances. In addition to standby mode, The Energy Savings Trust also say that faulty appliances could be costing consumers a lot of money.

Which appliances should you turn off?

While your natural reaction to these findings may be to turn off all your appliances when not in use, some should stay on standby. Appliances that should be left on standby include set-top boxes because they need to have constant power to download information. However, all other appliances such as your microwave, washing machine, tumble dryer, dishwasher, television, games console can be turned off completely. The only way to do this is to turn off the switch at the wall socket itself.

Related: What is the ENERGY STAR?

By turning off your appliances at the socket, you will save money on your energy bills. Your electricity bill could be £30-£100 cheaper if you turn your appliances off, so it is definitely worth changing your habits and turning your appliances off completely instead of leaving them on standby.

You can find out the energy efficiency of an appliance by looking for its ‘Energy Efficiency Rating’. That rating looks like this:


With computers, you can put them into ‘sleep mode’. This power mode uses far less energy than screen saver mode. You should switch off printers and scanners at the wall socket when they are not in use and you can turn your monitor off completely too.

Our estimates suggest that over the course of a year, a television that is left on standby will consume £25 worth’ of electricity. A microwave oven over the course of a year will consume £20 of energy and a games console over a year will consume £15 of energy. Appliances that display information in standby mode will consume even more electricity – so remember to turn them off!

About the Author

Energy Company NumbersView all posts by Energy Company Numbers
Energy Company Numbers is a telephone number directory service dedicated to helping UK consumers keep in touch with their energy suppliers.


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