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Turn devices off at the wall

Off switch

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Standby power is a key source of hidden energy use that can amount to more than 10 per cent of your household electricity use. Almost all electronic devices draw power, even when they're switched off at the unit. If it's got a little light or clock—it's using power.

Home entertainment products and computers often have a standby mode so they can turn on quickly. However, standby mode can use a lot of energy even when the appliance isn't being used—and all for the sake of powering up the device a few seconds earlier.

When connected to a power source, home entertainment products generally have four power modes:

Power modes of home entertainment products
Power mode Description
Off The device performs no function. It doesn't produce any sound or picture, or transmit or receive any information. It can only be activated by the power switch on the unit itself.
Passive standby The device doesn't perform its main purpose (is 'sleeping') but is ready to be switched on, usually via a remote control or internal sensor or timer, or it may be performing a secondary function such as an active display or clock.
Active standby The device is on but doesn't perform its main function. For example, the DVD may be on but is not playing or recording. Home entertainment products use much more energy in active standby than in passive standby mode.
On The device is in use.

The most effective way to save energy is to turn things off at the wall when you're not using them. If this sounds like too much fuss, look for 'intelligent' powerboards that cut power to the majority of devices using a remote or a switch separate from the board. Or try boards with multiple ports that have a 'master' to cut power to all devices once the 'master' device has been switched off.

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