King of Excellent (according to Scaryduck)

Thursday, February 28

On power saving

I'm not very green. In fact, the electronics knowledge I have leads me to think that leaving things on standby is so negligible that I never worried about it. I have the same mindset that the urban myth of leaving a flourescent light on instead of turning it off and on regularly is cheaper, which has since been proved not to be the case. And so when Lidl (German for "Supermarket of the unemployed") had a special offer on electrical items last year, I snapped up a couple of items.
The first were intelligent power strips. These 6-way power extensions would have a master and 5 slaves, and when you powered down the master it would turn off the 5 other slave devices. I got 4. One for the TV in the lounge, one for the PC in my office, one for the PC upstairs, and one for John's room. So, for example, in John's room he had on standby most of the day his TV, sky box, xbox, stereo, dvd, and a scart switcher. When he turns off the TV, it turns off the other stuff.
The other gadget sold by Lidl was a consumption meter, showing how much in watts you are using at any one time, so I plugged this into John's room before adding the power strip, and was horrified to find that his room alone was costing me £4.20 a week just in standby. Everything was installed, and I knew our electricity bill would drop a bit, but yesterday I got confirmation.
My bill halved. In the last 3 months I have saved £180, which by anybody's standards is staggering. Bearing in mind also that it is now nearing the end of the winter, and I only have a coal fire for central heating, most of the time I use electric fan heaters when I'm only in for a couple of hours. This makes the savings all the more amazing.
So, what I say to you is if you think standby doesn't matter, think again.