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What is standby power

Standby power consumption it is the power used by a device or appliance when it is not in active use. 

Those appliances and devices that draw power while in standby mode are also called vampire loads or phantom loads.

Standby power consumption is a useless electricity usage

Standby power consumption

Many devices, like TVs or microwave ovens, remain in standby while not in active use. While in standby mode, they can be quickly put back into use. 

This is, instead of having to wait a few seconds so the device can go through the power on cycle, the device can be put back into use instantaneously because it was never completely powered off.

The standby power usage it is relatively low but a low power usage over long periods of time can quickly amount to a considerable cost.

Standby power

How to reduce the standby power consumption

Now that you have learnt what standby power consumption is, consider your options to reduce or eliminate that waste of electricity and money:

      1. Switch your devices off while they are not in use
      2. If your appliance or device has an ECO function, make sure that it is enabled
      3. Use a power strip to power off several standby devices with the flick of a single switch
      4. Use a smart power strip to measure and control the standby loads
      5. Use a visually friendly smart socket to avoid unnecessary standby times

Standby power calculator

The calculator below can be used to estimate the electricity cost of a device or appliance kept in standby mode during long periods of time.


For other useful calculators have a look to the electricity consumption calculators page.

Laptop electricity usage calculator icon
Computer monitor electricity usage calculator icon
Computer monitor
Game console electricity usage calculator icon
Gaming console
Printer electricity usage calculator icon
Desktop printer

Energy conservation

Energy conservation can be defined as the decision and the act of using less energy 

Energy conservation both benefit you and the environment  

The act of saving and conserving electricity does benefit you because you will be paying less on your energy bills. 

And it also does benefit the environment because conserving electricity prevents any unnecessary waste of natural resources.

Now, at individual level it may not look worth to try to save a few watts here or there. 

Still, every little counts and if hundreds or thousands of us do save a little every time, it will make an important contribution towards conserving our natural resources.


For example, if 9000 households would manage to save as little as 10 Watts per day (0,01 kWh) that would add to 32850 Kilowatt hour (kWh) saved per year. 

9000 households x 0,01 kWh per day x 365 days per year 

32,850 kWh saved per year

That is a considerable amount of electricity, but let’s add additional perspectives for clarity:

> Assuming an average cost of 0,18 euro (or dollars, or pounds, or any other currency) per kWh, we would collectively be saving nearly 6000 euro per year.

> To produce 32,850 kWh of electricity it is necessary to use around 17 metric tons of coal or 56 barrels of residual fuel oil.

Have a look to this page for more information about the amount of resources needed to produce electricity.

In any case it is clear that small energy savings do really count when looking into the bigger picture.

Proven ways to save electricity at home

If you are looking for saving electricity ideas at home, have a look to this YouTube video where we provide some useful tips to reduce the electricity usage and decrease the electricity bill.

How to save electricity at home

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