Turn appliances off at the power point when not in use
Many appliances such as DVD players, TVs, stereos and computers use electricity called “standby power” when they’re not being used if they’re left switched on at the power point. Standby power can account for as much as 10% of household energy bills. In general, newer appliances tend to use significantly less standby power than older ones, so focus more effort on switching off older equipment. Turn off appliances at the power point.
To make things easier, place multiple appliances on a single or multiple switch powerboard to avoid hard-to- reach spots and reduce the number of switches to flick. Alternatively, at very low cost, you could buy “eco-switches” or other types of remote switches that remotely switch off a power point or powerboard and all of the appliances connected to it.
See our Liveability how-to video for more information.
Turn off computer monitors
Set your computer to enter “sleep” mode after a certain period of inactivity and turn the computer monitor off when you’re not using it, even for a short time.
Choose an energy efficient monitor
While all modern monitors are now LCD, not all use LED backlighting. LED backlighting makes the monitor more efficient; choose a monitor that uses LEDs, not CCFLs, for backlighting. LED backlit monitors are often called “LED monitors” but they are simply LCDs with LED backlighting. Even so, not all monitors are equally efficient and some manufacturers make ultra-efficient monitor ranges. Turning the brightness down can cut energy use somewhat.
All monitors now come with an energy rating so you can see how much energy a specific monitor will be likely to use over the course of a year.
Using a tablet (approx. 4 watts) or laptop (10–40 watts) is much cheaper to run than a desktop computer.
Check a TV’s energy label
When purchasing a new TV always check the kWh rating on the energy label as it is a much more important indicator of energy efficiency than comparing size of TVs, i.e. some larger TVs may be much more energy efficient than smaller TVs. Note: LED backlit LCD TVs are extremely energy efficient.
Look at the stars
Check the Energy Star label on DVD players, TVs, stereos, computers and printers. Appliances that have the Energy Star label use much less power when in standby mode.
Reach for the stars
When buying new appliances, whether for the kitchen, the laundry or the living room, look for the Energy Rating Label. The label gives the appliances a star rating between 1 and 10 stars. The greater the number of stars the higher the efficiency.
The Energy Rating Label scheme compares the energy consumption of electrical products and appliances to help you with your purchasing choices. The star ratings of all labelled products and appliances are also available on the Energy Rating website.
When comparing different appliances or equipment it’s important to look at comparative energy consumption, which is shown in kilowatt hours, rather than just the number of stars.
The Energy Rating App
Download the Energy Rating Calculator App to find the running costs of your household appliances anytime or anywhere, on an iPhone®, iPad®, iPod touch®, Android™ and Windows Phone.