Standby appliance habits cost £1.3 billion a year

Failing to switch off computers, televisions and other electrical products when they're not in use is costing the UK up to £1.3bn a year reveals a new Government-backed study.

‘Powering the Nation, – household energy using habitats uncovered’, also found that TV watching in the UK was 10 billion hours more than previously thought, adding a further £205m a year to electricity bills.

“Manufacturers need to develop more energy efficient electrical products and help consumers save money and the environment,” commented Environment Minister Lord Taylor of Holbeach, adding that more switching-off would save everyone up to £85 a year on electricity bills.

The study, conducted by Defra, DECC and the Energy Saving Trust, is the first in the UK to measure electricity in real situations; pinpointing what items are used, when, for how long and how much power they use.

Collecting data from 251 monitoring systems in owner-occupied households, it revealed higher than expected levels of usage, showed that consumers are still getting to grips with minimising energy consumption and that more work is required to help homeowners make the right choices.

Energy Minister Greg Barker commented: “The report provides vital insights into what is happening on the ground, highlighting the need for more energy efficient appliances and indicating which contribute most to electricity demand at peak times. This research will help us to understand and manage household energy demand.”

Energy Saving Trust Chief Executive, Philip Sellwood, added that more needed to be done with consumer advice, product innovation and the take up of energy-efficiency labelling to help consumers spot the most efficient products.”

The Government is already working with the EU to ensure that Green Energy Labels are displayed on all new electrical appliances, providing easily recognisable information on the relative energy consumption and performance of domestic appliances.

Finally, the report found that single-person households are using as much, and sometimes more, energy on particular appliances as families.

edie staff

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