40% of all electricity is used by turned off devices

The Department of Energy estimates that in the average home, 40 percent of all electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off. Add that all up, and it equals the annual output of 17 power plants, the government says.

I started checking how much electricity my electronics were consuming when I wasn't using them. I used a Kill A Watt EZ energy meter (available online for about $25) and began measuring. My PC was continuously drawing 134 watts all night.

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Regardless whether its 40% or not, clearly its a waste of energy and it contributes to global warming etc
The company i work for has 3000+ computers and nearly all of them have their monitors left on all the time and probably half the pc's are as well. I'm certain this is the case with most business's as well just think how much power could be saved worldwide if they remove the standby feature.
You can see it yourself, if i have no lights or appliances on in my house, still my power meter is clocking up usage so clearing things being in standby are using a significant amount of power.

Thats a bull****. First it is impossible to use 40% of energy in sleep mode, maybe 4% at best. The second is, that they feed this information to the public from a fixed viewpoint (they tell you what to think about it) that we should use less energy instead of that we should not waste energy. I am against wasting of any kind but using less energy is not an option, producing it by more environment friendly ways is, but... I think there is no difference for the society and absolutely for the government if I "waste" some amount of energy watching the stupid shows on the TV or by not watching them but left the TV on stand by. This is solely my waste, and government has absolutely nothing to do with it. The problem is, that the current technology is unable to produce that wasted energy without pollution. Anyway we must solve any possible problem of global warming on the foundation of industrial civilization as reason and common sense suggest, not on a foundation of its ruins, as the government and some other factors suggest.

I think the issue this person had with his system is he thinks that turning off the MONITOR turns off the main unit...

Just a thought... >.>

You may want to "Hibernate" your PC. Click Hibernate on the start menu (in Vista), or type a key sequence (in XP):

[Winkey], u, h

(Start menu --> sh[U]tdown --> [H]ibernate (a hidden button on the shutdown menu in XP that appears while holding a shift key))

Or type (XP/Vista):

shutdown /f /h

Or make it a shorcut. Or go to Control Panel, find Power options and change the behavior of the power button to hibernate, not to shut down.

When your PC is hibernating, it is safe even to unplug. Plus, even if a PC is hibernating, it can be turned on by Windows' Task Scheduler. It is quite useful if you want your PC to play a wake-up song every morning.

Ill start taking all this seriously when we stop wasting time with corn cars and start shutting down the coal powered plants and go 100% nuke. That is the answer and none of the so called environmentalists ever mention it. Al Gore never mentions it. He was responsible for 100s of new coal plants while he was VP. I hate that mfer! No more prius'! All Nukes!

Coal Plants produce millions of tons of radioactive pollution every year. Their waste piles or slag piles are the most radioactive entities on this planet, sitting there for years being rained on leaching tons of radioactive crap into our ground water.

Coal powered plants are BY FAR the biggest polluters on this planet and we can fix them BY FAR the easiest! Hardley a word of that from the Environazis! They dont care ! God DAMN I hate them.

Corn prices are going thru the roof all over thew world! People that rely on corn cant afford it now because of the waste of time spent on the fn biofuel! Typical leftist morons doing more damage than good! Typical leftist retards cant think deep enough to see the damage they cause with their idiotic ideas!

Shut down the Coal Powered plants! Build more Nukes! PROBLEM SOLVED!!@! My god its so damn easy! Nukes are by far the cleanest, cheapest, safest source of RENEWABLE energy there is in the F'n universe you aholes! Its something we can do NOW and the impact will happen in our lifetimes!! This is one of those pet peeve things for me.

solardog said,
Ill start taking all this seriously when we stop wasting time with corn cars and start shutting down the coal powered plants and go 100% nuke. That is the answer and none of the so called environmentalists ever mention it. Al Gore never mentions it. He was responsible for 100s of new coal plants while he was VP. I hate that mfer! No more prius'! All Nukes!

Coal Plants produce millions of tons of radioactive pollution every year. Their waste piles or slag piles are the most radioactive entities on this planet, sitting there for years being rained on leaching tons of radioactive crap into our ground water.

Coal powered plants are BY FAR the biggest polluters on this planet and we can fix them BY FAR the easiest! Hardley a word of that from the Environazis! They dont care ! God DAMN I hate them.

Corn prices are going thru the roof all over thew world! People that rely on corn cant afford it now because of the waste of time spent on the fn biofuel! Typical leftist morons doing more damage than good! Typical leftist retards cant think deep enough to see the damage they cause with their idiotic ideas!

Shut down the Coal Powered plants! Build more Nukes! PROBLEM SOLVED!!@! My god its so damn easy! Nukes are by far the cleanest, cheapest, safest source of RENEWABLE energy there is in the F'n universe you aholes! Its something we can do NOW and the impact will happen in our lifetimes!! This is one of those pet peeve things for me.

You forget the hundreds of pounds of radioactive waste that a nuclear power plant will generate. Do you want waste that will be radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years buried in your back yard? Well, neither do I, and for that matter, neither does anyone else.

And will this solve our energy dependence problem? No. Why? Because most of the worlds Uranium reserves are found in Australia, and the rest is well, NOT in the United States.

What happens when the Uranium fuel runs out? Because currently we do not have a way to fabricate that element, or an alternative to it.

What we really need to do is legalize Hemp in the United Sates, and use that for Bio-Fuel (no, you can't get high from that, read your facts before you say anything). Plus, Bio-Diesel actually puts less carbon into the air than the plant took into grow.

Solar is another good alternative. If every house in the US had a solar panel, most of the problem would be solved, because every home would produce ALMOST enough electricity on its own to run itself. The rest of it should come from wind or solar.

Hydrogen would work well for cars, but we lack the infrastructure for it, and it currently takes more power to split water in to hydrogen and oxygen than the hydrogen will give us back.

Zirus said,
If every house in the US had a solar panel, most of the problem would be solved, because every home would produce ALMOST enough electricity on its own to run itself.

Not in Seattle they wouldn't.

Solardog, I agree 100%
Zirus, The gubment already has a storage solution.. it's located in a mountain, in the desert of Nevada. It should be fully operational before 2020. Watch Penn and Teller's BULLS%*T. They explain that nuclear power is not evil as the libs want you to think it is.

Zirus said,

You forget the hundreds of pounds of radioactive waste that a nuclear power plant will generate. Do you want waste that will be radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years buried in your back yard? Well, neither do I, and for that matter, neither does anyone else.

And will this solve our energy dependence problem? No. Why? Because most of the worlds Uranium reserves are found in Australia, and the rest is well, NOT in the United States.

What happens when the Uranium fuel runs out? Because currently we do not have a way to fabricate that element, or an alternative to it.

What we really need to do is legalize Hemp in the United Sates, and use that for Bio-Fuel (no, you can't get high from that, read your facts before you say anything). Plus, Bio-Diesel actually puts less carbon into the air than the plant took into grow.

Solar is another good alternative. If every house in the US had a solar panel, most of the problem would be solved, because every home would produce ALMOST enough electricity on its own to run itself. The rest of it should come from wind or solar.

Hydrogen would work well for cars, but we lack the infrastructure for it, and it currently takes more power to split water in to hydrogen and oxygen than the hydrogen will give us back.

Whilst I agree that nuclear fuel is not renewable, it certainly produces a lot more energy per kg of fuel than combustion-based fuels. When it runs out? Well ideally we would've perfected fusion reactors by then, but if the worst comes to the worst, go back to combustion.

Oh, and yeah, I wouldn't care if the nuclear waste fuels were in my back garden to be perfectly honest. It's not as evil as "nuclear waste" sounds

Guys I want to clear some facts up about nuclear fuel, as my housemate did his final year project on stablising nuclear waste via different cell structres etc etc.

Nuclear fuel can be re-used and in effect can get very high efficiency (I think upto 95%, I'll try and find a source).

There is enough uranium and plutonium on this planet to last for thousands of years, so no worries there.

Lastly, but most worringly, all the nuclear waste that has been produced over the years has never been buried yet. All of it is in storage as they are still trying to find out the best way to stabilise it as at current the glasses and the ceramics used to contain them still get eroded after a very short while. My solution is to shoot it all up into space, as with all the power derived from it, the fuel could effectively pay for itself to be shot into space whilst still providing millions of Watts of power in its lifetime. I'm pretty sure the sun wouldn't mind one bit.

M2Ys4U said,
Oh, and yeah, I wouldn't care if the nuclear waste fuels were in my back garden to be perfectly honest. It's not as evil as "nuclear waste" sounds

Unfortunately I promise you it is.

he should have explained that the difference between off as in pushing the power button and off as in unplugging the machine first before giving us these statistics seeing as its made alot of people confused.

I read the comments here and I don't see what the confusion about

"The Department of Energy estimates that in the average home, 40 percent of all electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off. Add that all up, and it equals the annual output of 17 power plants, the government says."

The Republican Department of Energy found that the electricy wasted on unused electric devices = 17 power plants a year... 17frigging power plants... how can one be confused about it? this means that with little effort we can save... 17frigging power plants of power a year....

Samboini said,
The confusion is he doesn't specify what he means by 'off'. Why don't you enlighten me o all knowledgable one.
Standby

Samboini said,
The confusion is he doesn't specify what he means by 'off'. Why don't you enlighten me o all knowledgable one.

No No , read the article, off is any mode in which the appliance isn't on but connected to the power grid
standby and off includes

One must see the diffrence between off and standby

Standby: a mode popular with higher technology electric devices, in which the device still works but at a minimal level - like TVs, DVD players etc

Off: a mode where the appliance has no internal operation at all but electricity still being used due to electomagmetic leaks and heat from capacitors. just like when you turn off an oven per say....

As long a device connected to the powergrid it will consume electricity

My PC was continuously drawing 134 watts all night.

Then it was turned on. I have a wattmeter and my PC consumes around 145W while idle, 15W when turned off.

I also measured a consumption of 7W when charging my mobile phone, 0W when the phone was not plugged to its charger. So leaving the charger plugged in consumes just about nothing.

I also noticed that many electronic devices such as TV, audio receivers, etc. consume about 10W on standby each.


Now the title is completely misleading. It's not 40% of all electricity, it's 40% of household electricity. And it may be consumed by devices on standby, but it's nothing compared to what industries and street lights consume. Unplugging all those devices won't solve any energy crisis or make a dent in global energy consumption or CO2 emissions. It will just allow you to save 5-10 bucks on your next power bill.
I'm having a hard time imagining that it equals the annual output of 17 power plants. But I'm no expert, so I'll just agree...

Edit : although if we say 100W of standby power times 30 million households, it adds up to 3000MW of electricity, which is about 3 power plants.

.statix said,
300 million (USA) 30 Plants ;)

Each US citizen does not have its own household.
Or do you all live in one household each? Must be lonely... I will never move to the USA.
I can't imagine how the USA will exist for another 10 years, if everyone have their own household.

He was refering to households, not people.

...pfff...

Products with standby should have a little chargeable battery in them so its uses this to allow the item to be switched back on.

I think he is saying something similar in that if the battery were full then the power from this battery could be used to switch the TV into standby and back again whilst being able to have the mains power for the unit effectively turned off. But then a battery wouldn't be able to provide the x watts needed so it seems the only probable solution is to have the TV on or off, none of this standby jazz!

Would be a worse solution.

The power used to keep the device in standby is the same either way except with a battery the device draws more power when it is on to charge it.

It really doesn't make a whole lot of sense... The way the article is written implies that when the computer is in "low power" mode uses less power than if it's off.

Reading the article it wasn't clear whether by turned off he actually meant turned off but still plugged in, or turned off in standby. Either way when I turn things off I turn them properly off, i.e. with a switch not a remote.

I'm fairly sure there is a motion in progress to ban standby buttons also.

Agreed. It seems like the writer is just referring to devices that are not being used, but still on (eg, a Tivo that's on but not recording). This is the beauty of standby mode, which I am quite certain would not draw the kind of power he's claiming. I call shenanigans.

*edit* However, this is not to disparage power conservation efforts, which are very important!

In July 2006, the British Government announced it would outlaw standby mode on televisions and video players that do not meet minimum standby-mode power consumption standards (1 watt). It was found that standby modes on electronic devices account for 8% of all British domestic power consumption.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sleep_mode

My PC was continuously drawing 134 watts all night.

Dunno what the hell he is doing.. but my pc doesnt even use 135watts when its turned on...

MioTheGreat said,
135 is about average for a PC.

Mine uses about 250 watts average while running.. but it's highend..

I dunno what he's doing though, if he used S3.. mine uses ~5 watts MAX in S3 mode at night when I sleep it.

I knew of this before. but never the amount.

I've tried telling this to people and they would never accept it....maybe now they will. they can't fathom that electronics still sap power while plugged in but the device is turned off.


.Kompressor said,
I knew of this before. but never the amount.

I've tried telling this to people and they would never accept it....maybe now they will. they can't fathom that electronics still sap power while plugged in but the device is turned off.

Tell them that the electronics are not actually off, but in an electric stand-by state that consumes more electricity than an actual off-switch would consume.