TVs left on standby adding to bills


Published: Wednesday 15th October 2014 by The News Editor

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Britain is a “nation on standby” with households wasting up to £80 a year because they do not switch off televisions and game consoles, experts have warned.

Households across the country could make savings of £1.7 billion a year by turning off all their appliances when they are not in use – instead of leaving them on standby, the Energy Saving Trust said.

More than half of people (55%) have one or more game consoles and nearly two-fifths of those with consoles leave them on or on standby when they are not in use, an Ipsos MORI poll of more than 2,000 people found.

Three-quarters of people with a spare TV keep that on standby too, the survey found.

But leaving TVs and game consoles on permanent standby costs households £45 to £80 a year, the Energy Saving Trust said. Just leaving a single games console on standby can run up a bill of up to £30 a year in electricity.

The survey, ahead of Big Energy Saving Week – an initiative by the Energy Saving Trust, Department of Energy and Climate Change and Citizens Advice, also found that three-quarters of people (74%) were worried about energy bills.

But only half of households who have received an unexpectedly high bill check if unused appliances are switched off, the research revealed.

Philip Sellwood, chief executive of the Energy Saving Trust, said: “We are a nation on standby.

“Whatever your age, gender or the size of your household: our research has found millions of us are unintentionally wasting electricity when we leave our gadgets on standby. It’s an easy mistake to make yet it costs us a fortune.”

He added: “Televisions and games consoles are now among the primary sources of our everyday entertainment, yet when left on permanent standby they are costing £45-£80 a year.

“I’m not suggesting we get rid. I’m urging people to take back control of their appliances next week and switch off when we aren’t using them.”

Appliances could also be wasting people’s money if they are old, with a fifth of people owning a fridge or freezer that is at least 15 years old.

Old appliances are more likely to be inefficient and to have developed faults that the owners might not be aware of, such as a faulty thermostat on a freezer which could mean it is costing £45 more a year to run than it should, the experts said.

Turning off lights when they are not needed can save £7 a year, while replacing all the remaining old-fashioned light bulbs with energy efficient ones and halogen lights with LEDs could save around £45 a year on bills.

Big Energy Saving Week aims to help householders take practical steps to cut bills by checking they are on the best deal, switching tariffs or suppliers and taking energy saving actions such as switching appliances off standby.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey said: “Consumers can make a real difference to their electricity bills by improving energy efficiency at home and Citizens Advice and Energy Saving Trust are there to help.

“Shopping around for the best energy deal can also make a huge difference. We’ve slashed the vast array of confusing tariffs, so it’s now easier to compare energy prices and switching times will be halved by the end of this year.

“Households could be saving a further £200 per year just by switching suppliers.”

Published: Wednesday 15th October 2014 by The News Editor

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