The Hidden Cost of Power

A STUDY of UK households has revealed the amount of wasted energy from leaving appliances on standby - for the commercial and industiral sectors the losses must be greater.

Computers, televisions and other electrical products plugged in but not in use or left on standby cost the UK up to £1.3 billion in electricity bills every year, a ground-breaking new study published today reveals.

The study, ‘ Powering the nation - household electricity-using habits revealed’, conducted by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), and the Energy Saving Trust, also revealed that the UK is watching 10 billion hours more TV than previously thought, adding £205m to electricity bills.

Powering the nation highlights the actual day-to-day use of electricity across the nation and allows us to see what is actually happening in people’s homes. The study is the first of its kind in the UK to measure and monitor electricity in real time in real-life situations, breaking down what electrical items are being used, when, for how long, and how much power they use.

Until now, a study of this magnitude and complexity had not been considered possible due to the technical challenges of monitoring usage.

Powering the nation reveals that people's relationship with energy, and level of usage, is actually worse than previously thought. The results from the household electricity use field trial, which gathered data obtained from 251 monitoring systems in owner-occupied households, showed that consumers are still getting to grips with minimising their energy consumption around the home and that more work is required to help homeowners make the right choices.

Picture: On Standby Firstfreddy at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Friday 29th June 2012


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