Monday, 23 October 2006

Stopping Standby

The EU's energy commssioner wants to set new energy efficiency standards for electrical appliances acrosss the continent. These rules, targeted at the European Union's 480 million consumers, would reduce energy use by 20% by 2020.

Why wait? You can start saving energy (and money!) at home and at work right now. One of the easiest and most painless things you can do is slay your electrical "vampires". These are appliances that consume electricity even when you think they're switched off. Think about that for a minute - even when they're not doing anything useful, those little boxes are costing you money and energy.

I've gone around my house and spotted at least 20 of these standby devices - the microwave, the answering machine, the television and set-top box, even the charger for my beloved iPod.

Let's assume for a moment that each of these devices uses 5 watts of electricity on standby. If each of them sits unused for, say, 22 hours per day, that's 350 kilograms of CO2 emitted to the atmosphere - about the same as some short-haul flights.

350 kilograms is only a fraction of the CO2 emissions from the average UK household, but switching these items off at the wall instead of leaving them on standby would save nearly £45 in electricity costs. It's an easy and painless way to save money. And that would cover the cost of offsetting the remaining emissions from household electricity and gas.

Stopping standby is only one way you can reduce your emissions. We'd love to hear your suggestions.

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(Carbon Clear Homepage)