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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Thieves in the night: how much energy do your appliances guzzle whileyou sleep?(REPORT: STANDBY ENERGY).

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Standby energy costs are insidious. Look around your house and you'll find many appliances--TVs, microwaves, laptops, MP3 chargers, washing machines, DVD players and so on--that use energy even when you think you've turned them off.

Standby energy costs eat into your bank account in small bites, but the bigger cost doesn't necessarily show up in your quarterly electricity bill. The total cost of standby energy across Australia amounts to tonnes of C[O.sub.2] and other greenhouse gases being emitted.

To understand the real cost of standby energy, CHOICE has compiled a list of common household appliances and compared the standby energy of the most efficient model with the least efficient. If you have a lot of appliances that fall into the least efficient category, you could be paying up to $100 or more per year for unnecessary power and contributing more than a tonne of greenhouse gases to our environment.

When you shop for your next appliance, check out our test results and look for the one with the lowest standby energy score. To make the most savings, however, always remember to turn off your appliances at the wall where possible, whether it is your TV, phone charger or microwave.

If you can feel heat coming from your phone or laptop power pack, even when the appliance isn't attached, it's drawing enough energy to cost you money. If your home entertainment power plugs are impossible to get to for the mess of wires, there are clever devices that can help (see CHOICE First Look, August 2009). When you choose an appliance that cannot be turned off, such as a refrigerator, look for one that combines the lowest running cost and best performance to improve your savings even further.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Individually, most of these appliances draw only a small amount of energy on standby, but Australia-wide it adds up to an immense amount of power. And while standby costs may be a small part of your total power bill, isn't it better to have the money in your pocket rather than the electricity company's?

QUARTERLY STANDBY ENERGY COSTS

Lowest Highest
Appliance Lowest Highest C[O.sub.2] C[O.sub.2]
(in alphabetical order) ($) ($) (kg) (kg)

Air conditioner-large 0.50 3.50 12.80 89.80
Blu-ray players / DVD player 0.10 0.61 2.60 15.70
Cordless phone 0.37 1.23 9.50 31.50
Dishwasher 0.00 1.20 0.00 30.70
DVR 1.32 6.89 33.90 176.70
Games console 0.66 0.90 16.90 23.00
HD set-top box 1.23 4.80 31.50 123.10
LCD monitor 0.15 0.66 3.80 17.00
Microwave oven 0.42 1.34 10.80 34.30
Mini HiFi stereo 0.08 3.91 2.10 100.40
Multifunction printer 0.19 4.54 4.80 116.50
PC speakers 0.15 3.35 3.90 86.00
Sound bars 0.05 3.57 1.30 91.50
Speaker docks 0.04 1.30 1.00 33.40
TV-100cm-115cm 0.03 0.59 0.80 15.10
TV-127cm 0.08 0.47 2.00 12.00
TV-66cm 0.11 0.46 2.70 11.80
TV-80cm 0.04 0.22 1.10 5.70
Washing machine 0.00 0.72 0.00 18.40
Wireless headphones 0.00 0.82 0.00 21.00
Cost per quarter $5.52 $41.08 141.6 1053.3

USING THE TABLE Electricity costs on 17c/kWh. C[O.sub.2] costs are
based are based on 1.09kg/kWh.

Source Citation
Steen, Matthew. "Thieves in the night: how much energy do your appliances guzzle while you sleep?" Choice [Chippendale, Australia] Oct. 2009: 62. Academic OneFile. Web. 13 Jan. 2010. .


Gale Document Number:A210222244

Disclaimer:This information is not a tool for self-diagnosis or a substitute for professional care.

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