08 January 2010

January 2010 - Getting rid of 'standby'

One of the things Tyson learnt in his course was that electronic equipment left on standby uses 10-15% of the power it uses when turned on. Everything in our house is on standby! Most notably, the computer/ printer/ screen/ speakers/ backup hard-drive gobble up energy. This month we purchased a six-point power board that has its own ‘on/off’ switch. When the computer etc is off, rather than sitting on standby, we are now turning the whole powerboard off.

Initial cost: $20. There are apparently also a range of more expensive options, including one with a remote switch, for when your power points are in a weird unreachable position, so you can set the switch up somewhere easy.

Initial time: 15 mins to rearrange the electrical cables.

Ongoing time or cost commitment: An extra few seconds when shutting down the computer to press the ‘off’ switch’.

Impact: At least 16 hours per day that the home office is drawing no power, where previously it was using an estimated 15-20W to sit on standby.


  1. I estimate that this powerboard saved us 116.8kWh in energy, worth $35.22 (including Natural Power premium and GST) per year.

  2. Joerg and I bought a heap of timers to put on the power points (they were on special for $3) and put them mainly on the tv etc. He set them to go off at 11.30pm and on again at 5pm (we don't watch tv in the mornings). It works quite well to make you go to bed too because just when the tv show is getting to a good part the timer goes off then you can't be bothered to go and reset it... works everytime! We also tell the kids that the TV doesn't work a the other times so they have to go and play with the lego or outside!!