Electricity companies say you can save money on your bill by doing just one thing

It’s never enjoyable to receive a power bill in the mail, but what if you could reduce it by a

It’s never enjoyable to receive a power bill in the mail, but what if you could reduce it by a significant amount – and you will hardly notice? We’d all do it! But it turns out, many of us aren’t taking one simply step every night.

Devices with stand-by modes such as airconditioners, coffee machines, TVs and microwaves are costing Australian consumers $860 million a year and resulting in almost 2.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.

While Australia’s average stand-by power usage has decreased by 68 per cent in the past decade, it still accounts for 5.9 per cent of Australia’s total household electricity consumption.

“One of the really frustrating things about standby power is that you can have two seemingly identical products, one with quite high standby power and one with a really low standby power,” Alan Pears, senior industry fellow at RMIT told Fairfax.

“Why? Because one designer made decisions so it shut down all the non-essential things and did what was left efficiently, and the other just used a crude design technique.”

But it’s not just our fault: Australia doesn’t regulate stand-by power in devices so some could use as much power in stand-by than another product. This is because it’s only been a recent addition to include stand-by power consumption in the star-rating Energy Efficiency program, said Lloyd Harrington, engineer and director of consultancy firm Energy Efficient Strategies.

“Most things would be in standby mode most of the time – like a TV would probably be used five or six hours a day then it would probably have 18 hours of standby,” he said.

“But most new televisions now have almost zero standby, because standby is now included in the [star-rating] label and so manufacturers get a reward if they improve that.”

So what can we do? Simple: you can switch off everything before you go to bed, or you can buy special power points that have a timer that turns off everything at once. In-house meters also work well to show consumption.


Share your thoughts below.

  1. margaret reid  

    Ive been tirning all appliances off at the wall for years but it doesnt seem to reduce my electricity bills an electrician told it doesnt make any difference but i still do it

  2. Deborah Stockham  

    Must agree, all standbys off no change in electricity bills. Also noted that our bill increased once the Carbon Tax was abolished! Wonder why?

  3. Thank heavens my power bills are going down. There are 5 of us living in the house 2 adults and 3 kids. We have reverse cycle airconditioning, a pool, 3 televisions and lots of other electrical gadgets….
    I do all my washing after 10 pm (off peak) and set the timer on the pool pump and also the dishwasher to come on after 10 pm. If I need to use the drier occasionally it only gets used between 10 pm and 6 am.
    This does work….

    • Sandi  

      You are right. It’s not stand by that will decrease power consumption, it’s using power when it’s cheaper and also being aware of turning things off when not in use!

  4. Also pay the bill on time and make use of the discount offered for paying by due date and if you sign a contract you get an extra discount.

    • Adrienne Kennedy  

      Lucky you! We have a new contract with long term power supplier. Our pay on time discount on a $360 bill was, wait for it…90c. Better than nothing as if we were late we would be charged interest! 🙁

  5. Anne Kendall  

    I don’t turn my modem off or my Foxtel. But I turn off lights when not needed and the dishwasher. Also my range hood.

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