AS energy bills soar and millions of families are struggling to cope with rising prices, the easiest way to cut your costs might be to make sure your appliances are switched off.
Leaving everyday items on standby could be costing you hundreds of pounds a year.
That’s money many families can’t afford to lose at a time when a cost of living crisis is starting to bite.
But research by Utilita reveals that the average UK home has 10 items left plugged in and switched off despite not being used.
It’s estimated that around 30% of households leave items on standby that they haven’t even used in a year.
TVs are games console are among the worst offenders, adding extra pennies to your bills with every hour they’re left in rest mode.
But plenty more appliances and gadgets may also be adding to your bills without you even realising.
Archie Lasseter, sustainability lead at Utilita, said: “Standby mode is a real energy drainer – some items use the same amount of energy as when they’re switched on.
“In each home, leaving just one TV on standby can waste up to £16 of electricity a year, which is a staggering £432 million for all UK households.”
Here we round up some of the worst offenders.
Xbox and Playstation
Your games console might be a lot of fun, but it’s also adding a lot on to your energy bill.
According to Utilita, a Playstation costs 2.41p for every single hour you play it, and an Xbox 2.22p.
The consoles use 130 an 120 watts respectively when they’re in use, but still eat up 10 watts when they’re on standby.
That means even when you’re not gaming, they’re costing you 0.18p an hour if they’re on standby.
That’s 4.45p a day, or a whopping £16.24 a year.
These days, TVs often don’t actually make it easy for you to switch off.
Back in the day, there would be a big off button on the TV set itself but now everything is done off the remote control, which usually only offers you standby mode.
That means you’re going to have to make the effort to turn the set off at the wall if you don’t want it idling in standby mode.
But the savings will be worth it, as the TV is one of the most energy-hungry devices in the house when left on standby.
A telly uses 40 watts of energy when it’s being used, but still wants 10 watts when it’s sitting in standby.
That means it costs you 3.7p if you’re watching your TV for five hours, but it’ll still cost you 4.45p a day if it’s unused by sitting in standby mode.
Over a year that racks up to £16.24.
When was the last time you used your printer? It’s a gadget that many households have but may only use a handful of times a year.
While it might be handy to keep hold of your printer, you’d better unplug it when it’s not in use.
Having a printer or scanner in standby mode still uses up electricity.
These devices need around 40 watts of energy when they being used, but still eat up 4 watts when they’re in idle mode.
That might not seem a lot, but it racks up to 1.78p every day and a hefty £6.50 a year unnecessarily added to your energy bill.
You’ll definitely want the monitor on when baby is sleeping, but what about when they’re awake and in the room with you.
Baby monitors are super sensitive and even in standby mode will be listening out for any noises or movement.
We know that kids are expensive to raise – one recent estimate puts the cost at bringing up a baby to age 18 at an eye-watering £100,000 – so there’s no point unnecessarily adding more to that sum.
The typical baby monitor eats up around 15 watts of energy when it’s in use, but still needs 3 watts in standby mode.
Over a year that’s an extra £4.87 on your bill.
More people are working from home than ever before, and that means you’re likely glued to your laptop for a good few hours a day.
Utilita says running a laptop for five hours will cost around 6.95p as the device uses a hefty 75 watts of energy.
Be sure to unplug your computer once it’s got enough charge for you to do your work, rather than leaving it eating up power all day.
And before you simply close the lid and walk away at the end of the working day, make sure you’ve shut your laptop down.
While the device will only use around 3 watts of energy in standby mode, leaving idling will cost you an extra 1.33p a day, adding up to £4.87 over the course of a year.
According to Utilita, leaving a kettle switched on at the wall adds £4.87 to an end-of-year energy bill.
And even the microwave will use £1.62’s worth of juice before it’s even started heating something.
But what about the smart speaker that keeps you entertained while you’re cooking the dinner or making a cup of tea?
While a smart speaker’s energy usage is fairly low at 3 watts, surprisingly it uses up almost as much power when it’s left on standby at 2 watts.
So this is one you really need to unplug at the wall.
Leaving a smart speaking unused but plugged in could put an extra £3.45 on your annual bill. There’s not much smart about that.
Mobile phone charger
The majority of people tend to charge their mobile phone overnight as it’s one of the few times we’re not using this device.
But while it may be convenient, it might not be the most cost-effective way to juice up your phone.
And while keeping our devices juiced up might not cost as much as you feared, there’s no point wasting money by leaving them plugged in when you don’t need to.
But even when there’s no phone attached to it, your charger will still be using energy if you leave it plugged in.
Leaving a charger plugged in unnecessarily will add another 32p a year to your bill, as well as all the energy you use when you’re actually charging your phone.
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