Which appliances consume electricity even when switched off?

We have seen electricity prices rocketing up in Spain every year. The Spanish electric companies offered very poor excuses before a passive Spanish Government. They picked on the coldest days of the year to increase electric prices by as much as 60%.


So apart from installing our own electric photovoltaic panels the next thing we can do is to save electricity by any means. One way of saving is to switch off all those appliances which we have on standby.   


You will not believe it

With the increase in demand, the price of electricity rose these days to close to 100 euros the Mwh in the wholesale market. After the cold spell we continue to live the coldest days of the year in much of this country and should prepare our wallets for the arrival of the following invoice from the electric company. Although the consumption is not the bulk of our energy expenditure, it does constitute a good pinch (approximately 40%), and it is a pity that the meter keeps ticking away on account of devices that are not being used or that we think are been switched off.

Is not an exaggeration, appliances on standby (and even 'off') are responsible of a good percentage of what we paid on the electricity bill. Here below are the list of the culpable ones.


Extension sockets, and other tricks to save electricity

Now we have more devices and most of them are digital. The current regulations oblige electronic devices to be able to be switched off, spending as much as 1 W, or having it on the  'stand by' mode,  with data display screen can consume 2 W.

The OCU (Spanish Consumers Association) considers that these limits are too permissive, and believe that all the appliances should be able to be completely turned off, consuming 0 W, without having to restart them and to configure them again when they are switched on.

In addition to using the most efficient appliances or electronic devices (many consumers choose without hesitation the design or the novelty of the model), I recommend turning off or even better, unplug those which are the “big spenders”. But which are they? Does it depend on the number of led lights?


Meticulously Study

The Berkeley National Laboratory (dependent on the US Department of Energy) studied conscientiously and published a few months ago those appliances which consumed most electricity at home. The problem is greater than expected and we have reason to take these findings very seriously. The actual electricity consumed by appliances on standby can account for a quarter of the energy used in American households, while in Europe it is between 10 and 20%.


Take a good look at the list below and in addition to make a a saving in the family budget you will contribute your penny’s worth to the conservation of the planet.

Desktop computer

The home appliances that spend the most while on hold are computers (not laptop). Compared with a refrigerator seems something very residual, but it is not negligible, is about 5 Wh. However, if you are not doing anything do not hesitate: better in 'stand by' than on, and if you are not going to use it at all, switch it off.


Electric coffee makers

Do not leave them between the morning coffee and the afternoon coffee. They can use more than 1 W every hour, Coffee machines are even worse, here again we are talking about 5 Wh according to the OCU: as much as the PC.


Video Game Console

According to the American study these uses about 4 Wh, and that is without having the monitor on, only the console itself. If instead of being ready to use it is only plugged in, it also uses up electricity, in this case about 1 Wh.


TV decoder

Although the word remembers the old devices of Canal +, also applies to the current devices that allow to watch pay television (you can also see them labelled as tuners or simply receivers). Those which can record spend even more.

One of the most interesting data of the study is that these devices spend on hold almost as much as when you are using them.


The entire “standby” devices in a home, can consume up to three times more than a washing machine according to the calculation published in the New York Times. Something to take notice of.

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