Switching off standby could save you £147/year

Switching off standby could save you £147/year

Amid the soaring cost of energy bills in the UK, British Gas has said that households could save an average of £147 a year by switching off “vampire” electronics.

These ‘vampire’ devices are typically those such as televisions, games consoles or microwaves that passively use electricity even when not in active use.

In its research, British Gas claims that televisions are the most expensive item to leave on standby, costing around £24.61 annually, followed by set top boxes (£23.10 annually) and internet routers (£18.89 annually).

Other devices such as washing machines, printers or mobile chargers were found to cost less than £5 on a yearly basis when left on standby.

However, Twitter users have questioned some of British Gas’ calculations, especially following a 2013 ruling from the EU mandating that devices including TVs and microwaves use no more than 0.5 Watts or less per hour while in standby mode.

One analysis suggested that the measures taken to reduce energy drain from standby devices would not even save £30 for most users.

Absolute Radio presenter Ross Buchanan added: “Shifting the responsibility of rising bills onto the consumer rather than the government or the energy companies is pretty tasteless regardless of whether your ‘research’ is accurate (it’s not).”

As part of its findings, British Gas conducted a survey which found that almost one in three respondents (28 per cent) are already stressed about paying their energy bills this year, with half (50 per cent) saying they are already seeing an increase in their energy bills.

Furthermore, three in four (75 per cent) of people aged 55-64 said they would switch off appliances to save money on bills, compared to just over one-third (35 per cent) of 18 to 24-year olds who found the idea less appealing.

Marc Robson, an energy expert at British Gas, said: “With household costs on the rise, there are some actions we can take to reduce our energy usage at home which will really help the bank balance and the environment.

“Almost a third of total heating costs in the home are wasted through the roof and the walls and with vampire appliances this figure is almost half of our electricity bills on wasted energy. Just switching some of these off can really help save straight away and those with a smart meter will be able to see the impact of this in real time. Turn it down or turn it off is a great motto for fighting the vampires.”

British Gas profits have soared by 44 per cent over the past year, while its owner Centrica has seen its profits more than double, thanks to sharp rises in the cost of oil and gas.

Check out these smart plugs as a way to kill off ‘vampire’ devices and reduce electricity bills: