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Turn off at the plug not at the remote controls

The effects of standby: Turning your TV off fully is estimated to reduce the energy consumption of your TV by 10-20% of your power rating (typically – 15-20W). While this may seem small it is the duration at which TV are left on standby that means that this small amount of power incurs a lot of the energy wastage and all it takes is to turn the TV off fully. This could save you €20-30/year for changing a small habit.

Updating our Standby Reducing Ethos: When have all heard about the above mention standby and its effect on power consumption on our TVs. Nowadays our TV stations and entertainment centres have more that just than TVs. We now have more electrical consumers becoming part of our entertainment centres, including sky box, DVD players, surround sound systems and gaming consoles. While some manufactures of TVs have addressed the standby issue to a certain extent, with the more devices being left on standby, this improvement is negated and more likely increased. The combination of all of these items left on standby and the duration can make a significant impact on your energy use and your electricity bills.

Real Impact on your Electricity Bills: As part of the SERVE Community Project, TEA is analysing such effects on power consumption and their real impact on your bills. The graph below shows a house that is frugal in there energy management approach to the TV/entertainment centre. This is a snapshot of 58hours period, with each bar representing the electricity usage for every 15 minute recoding.

Prudent Energy Management of Entertainment Centre

House A

Total Viewing Time (Hrs:mm) 19:31
Total Power Consumption (Wh) 2730.00
Power Usage Per Hour of Viewing Time (Wh) 140

For house A for a total of 19.5 hours of viewing time, the entertainment centre consumes 2730(Wh) or 2.73units for this snap shot of 58hours. In House A the typical TV viewing time power consumption of the consumers is 35Watts per reading and as they are quarter-hourly readings, this amount to 140Wh when the entertainment centre is being used. Alternatively the total power consumption could be divided by the time to get this power usage per hour of viewing time.

In this figure 2, we have an example of a homeowner that is wasteful with their energy by leaving their electrical consumers at the entertainment centre on standby. In this we can see similar bar to the previous house but there is an additional, ‘base’ load which is 5-6watts for every reading, this is the standby reading associated with the entertainment centre.

Standby Power of the Entertainment Centre

House B

Total Viewing Time (Hrs:mm) 07:15
Total Viewing Time Power Consumption (Wh) 1259.00
Total Standby Power Consumption (Wh) 1231.00
Total Power Consumption (Wh) 2490.00
Power Usage Per Hour of Viewing Time (Wh) 173.65

For House B for a total of 7.25 hours of viewing time, the entertainment centre consumes 2490(Wh) or 2.49 units but half of that is from standby power as the viewing time is less than half the viewing time of House A. While House B does have a higher power rating as its power usage per hour of viewing time is 173.64Wh, where as House A was 140Wh, this is due to a less efficiency TV. Not only is House B wasteful with it use of its electrical energy for the entertainment centre some of its consumers are inefficient. If this house continued on the same pattern as it did in this snap shot it would use consumption 185 units of electricity over the course of the year which at current electricity prices amount to nearly €30 for not switching off all your electrical consumers off at source and leaving them on standby. With this less efficient TV set, this means that it will use 35 more units of electricity per yearly which amount to €5.64 extra per year for this inefficiency.

House B
Standby Factor (% of for this period on standby, 1= 100%) 0.88
Total Number of Hours in the year (Hrs) 8736
Number of Hours on Standby Per Year (Wh/Yr) 7681.66
Standby Rate Per Hour (Wh/Hrs) 24.14
Yearly Standby Power Consumption (Wh) 185414.07
Yearly Standby Power Consumption (kWh) 185.41
Total Yearly Cost of Standby @16c/kWh (€) 29.67
Total Yearly Power due to inefficiency 35276
Total Yearly Cost of Standby @16c/kWh (€) 5.64

Instead of switching the TV off with the remote controls or even instead of only switching off the TV switch all the entertainment electrical consumers, this can save you €30/year, €30 only to change/extend a habit, this coupled with having a efficiency consumers can make a saving of €35 per year.

Final Thoughts: An easy habit change like, Switching Off ALL Electrical Consumers at Source, can save you money.

This analysis is only the beginning; the Tipperary Energy Agency will be collecting this data over two years for 100 houses to produce many other types of analysis. For further information on this or other data sets, contact