OK. So. Electricity prices went up 25% here, at the start of this year. Thats quite painful. Add to that that one of my pet hates is wastefulness in general, and you've got a bit of a challenge.
How much can I reduce our electricity bill over the course of the year, and how much will it cost me to do it? We already mostly use energy saving bulbs (will post separately on that), so the first obvious port of call was devices which sit on standby.
First, a quick bit of maths. The telly is target #1, as it gets quite warm, and in the lounge, the Wii, TV and DVD player are all on standby (so is the Sky+ box, but that doesn't work properly if you keep turning it off - because it doesn't store Anytime programs - very irritating).
A quick bit of guesstimated maths. An "energy saving recommended" LCD TV must use no more than 1.5 Watts of power in standby mode, so lets take a midline figure - 1W. Lets round that off, and call it 9kWh a year for arguments sake. Thats about £1.20. Oh. Thats pretty crap for a saving in a year. I carried on in the same vein, looking at the Wii (expensive if the little yellow light is on, which ours was), which we'll call approx £12, plus the DVD player - another £1.80ish.
So far, thats £15 a year. Not good.
We got a standby saver (as seen on Dragons Den) - http://www.standby-saver.com/ - which claims on the box that we could save upto £43 a year. Not right in our case, however, if we had a few more devices plugged in, you can see how it could easily add up - we have no hi-fi in there, for a start. But we only paid £21.95 for the gadget at Lakeland, so we should be quids in within 18 months. Not to mention the environmental benefits. Imagine if everyone did this!
In pure product terms, it was very easy to set up, has a little infrared detector which allows it to operate off the TV remote, and frankly you don't notice that its there. Two sockets with independant switches are provided, excluded from the saving functionality (i.e. for Sky+).
Fab. Highly recommended. If you have another console, VCR (??), Hi-Fi, etc also plugged in, you could save all the cash well within the first year.