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Electronic appliances on standby cost UK £1.3bn a year

June 26th 2012

Households across the UK could be wasting up to £1.3bn a year as a due to stand-by settings on household electrical devices that are left on when not in use. According to a study entitled Powering the Nation – household energy habits uncovered, carried out by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the Energy Saving Trust.

The study monitored the use of electricity in 250 homes, and found that the households were spending between £50 and £86 on electronic appliances in a “non-active” or standby state, equivalent to 9pc to 16pc of the average electricity bill.

Environment minister Lord Taylor of Holbeach said: “This survey shows we are using a lot more energy than previously thought.”

Research also showed that people were watching more television than originally thought. Most households have a TV on for more than six hours a day rather than the previous estimate of five hours on average. This could mean that the UK as a whole is watching 10 billion hours more TV a year than estimated, adding £205 million to electricity bills across the country.

Energy and climate change minister Greg Barker said: “Using energy more wisely in our homes will not only cut carbon but will also help save money on bills. But first we need to really understand how we use this energy in order to become more energy wise.”