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Standby Electricity In Australia - A Hidden Cost


What Is Standby Electricity?

A Common Cause Of Standby Electricity In Many HomesStandby electricity also termed 'phantom power' or 'wasted electricity' is the power an electrical appliance uses, when it is 'not really' turned off. You may have turned the TV off via the remote control, but the TV itself is still using power awaiting for your next remote control command. It is this standby power found in many Australian homes, that results in a large electricity cost for many householders.

A large electricity cost that can be easily eliminated!

When an appliance is technically powered off, it means it is not using any power, therefore it has a zero cost. The same as when you turn off an appliance at the wall.



Where Does Standby Electricity Occur In My Home?

Any Remote Control Means Standby ElectricityStandby electricity occurs in many appliances around the home. Often in appliances where the mains voltage of 240 volts, is reduced to a lower voltage for electronic circuits. These low power circuits often coming with complimentary remote controls or wall panels.

Hand held remote control or wall mounted, this standby electricity is built in by design. Standby electricity is found in a wide variety of appliances around the Aussie home such as,

  • Entertainment appliances: TVs, amplifiers, VCRs, set top boxes, DVD players
  • Communication appliances: Mobile phone charger, modems / routers
  • Air Conditioning units: The wall mounted control panel
  • Dish washing & laundry appliances
  • Cooking appliances: Microwave, oven, toaster, kettle, coffee machine #1

#1 - There are a lot of kettles and toasters on the market with smart electronics built into the base by design.

Other areas where Standby electricity occurs is with appliances that have a wall mounted transformer, where the appliance is turned off at the appliance but not the wall. Meaning the transformer is still warm to the touch, as it is still using power.

The AC wall mounted control panel can eat through power, when not used for months of the year.




What Can Standby Electricity Add To My Electricity Costs?

The table below shows you the true cost of Standby Electricity over an electricity bill or year.

  • At 30 cents per kWh 100 watts of 24/7 electrical standby is $263.00 per year
  • At 40 cents per kWh 250 watts of 24/7 electrical standby is $876.00 per year


The True Costs Of Standby Electricity On 24/7

Cents Per kWh

Watts Of 24/7 Electrical Standby & Costs Per Year / Quarter








Year / Quarter

Year / Quarter

Year / Quarter

Year / Quarter

Year / Quarter


219 / 55

329 / 82

438 / 110

548 / 137

657 / 164


263 / 68

394 / 99

526 / 132

658 / 165

789 / 198


307 / 77

456 / 114

613 / 153

767 / 192

920 / 230


350 / 88

526 / 132

701 / 175

876 / 219

1051 / 263


394 / 96

591 / 148

788 / 197

986 / 247

1183 / 296


438 / 110

657 / 164

877 / 219

1095 / 274

1314 / 329

Home Electricity Reduction Solutions - Aussie Home Energy

Help Us Educate Others - Add This Standby Calculator Table To Your Website

How Long Can You Afford NOT To Eliminate Standby Electricity?



How Can I Discover Electricity Standby?

Simple Easy Accurate 24/7 Home Electricity MonitoringThe easiest way to discover standby electricity, is to install some form of electricity monitoring within your home. This monitoring can either be in the form of a single appliance plug-in wall socket monitor, or an in-home TOTAL ELECTRICITY MONITORING SYSTEM of which we offer both.

We have also specifically designed a DIY HOME ELECTRICITY AUDIT solution, where you simply take a walk around your home with a wireless battery powered monitor, connected to the whole of your home and record each appliances standby and normal power. Supplied with ready to go forms and spreadsheet, this home electricity reduction solution is a winner for many householders.

Of course once you are aware of the standby power and the normal running costs of your appliances, the electricity monitoring is there to back up your increased knowledge of electricity usage and costs. By keeping you up to date of electricity usage and costs in realtime.

We are not aware of any householder whom has installed electricity monitoring, not making considerable savings. As up to now, there has been no real way to getting the feedback on electricity usage and costs in your home.


How To Choose An Electricity Monitor



How Can I Get Rid Of Standby Electricity?

There are three approaches to getting rid of standby electricity.

#1 - Switch off at the wall socket, any item you suspect has standby electricity. For those items such as air conditioning, you may have to switch the unit off in the powerbox. With any AC system, make sure you have the system powered on for sometime, before use is required. See your appliance manual for more information on this, as you may have a fluid conditioner.

#2 - Discover standby electricity with an electricity monitor. This second approach can discover standby electricity that up to this point, is unknown of.

During the the performance of our ELECTRICITY AUDIT SERVICES we often get the householder to switch off as much as possible in the home. When we all assume we are going to see 50W or less of power, the householder is amazed to see 100W, 200W or 300W. And is some cases far more. This is where the real investigation starts in reducing the power costs. And as you can see from the table above, 300W of 24/7 electricity is $800 PA on a 30 cent tariff!

#3 - Install a standby reduction switch to the appliances in question. These switches come as a lot of different types. You can install a switch for those hard to get to areas, the switch being hardwired or via a remote control.

Your local DIY store will have a large collection of wireless remote control switched outlet options, where you can install one on each socket and switch off remotely killing all of the standby power.



Why Do People Overlook Standby Electricity?

A lot of Aussie householders are simply not in touch with their electricity usage and costs. Most are familiar with the final cost of power only, but not aware of how that cost has arisen.

There is no real way of measuring daily usage and costs [monitoring system] in most homes, therefore standby electricity for most householders is not measurable and easily overlooked.



What Could That Same Wasted Power Alternatively Be Used For?

As we have now learned, a small amount of electricity when left on for a long time, can result in the total power used being a large cost on the electricity bill.

Interestingly ONLY 50W of standby electricity can be used to,

  • Run a 800W pool pump 6 hours a day for 91 days
  • Power a 51cm CRT TV 16 hours a day for 365 days
  • Heat the oven 4 hours each week for 365 days
  • Power a 10kWh Aussie home for 43 days


Alternative Uses For 50W Of 24/7 Wasted Standby Power?



Do You Have Solar Power?

What most Aussie householders are not aware of, is the effect of electrical standby and how it can drastically reduce the financial gain, of any Solar Power system. It is not just rising electricity costs that eat away at the profit from a GROSS feed or NET feed system!

What does make sense 100% of the time, is to firstly reduce any waste under the roof! And that is where our HOME ELECTRICITY AUDITS play an important role. We can even assess your situation during an audit and take all the guess work out of what size solar you may need, to offset your 'sunny hour' electricity usage.



Standby Electricity As A Nation

Australia like most other developed countries has a major problem with standby electricity. Standby electricity is often quoted as 10% or more of the total generated electricity supply. As one could assume, this is going to be a lot of power. According to Choice Magazine 2011, this wasted electricity amounted to more than $950M per year. It is not just power that can be saved though, but also the pollution created by this unnecessary power generation. Both issues created. because we are not simply turning off appliances.

Standby electricity greatly adds pressure to the generators of the electrical supply, where they are not able to meet customer demand, because we have not turned off those not needed appliances. We can all do our bit to help!

Electronic designers are already starting to add the On / Off switch back to appliances, for those of us not wanting the additional cost of standby electricity. Since 2011/12 there has been a drop in the standby electricity per household in Australia, due to the increased awareness of the cost. This being true though, we still see high standby electricity in the homes we AUDIT.

With increased awareness and a little education on the methods and products to eliminate standby electricity, this current waste of electrical power will become a thing of the past. Where we move forward as a country to not just becoming more energy efficient, but also learning to reduce the energy used in our homes.


Aussie Home Energy : Helping You Eliminate Standby Electricity 100%


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Alternative Uses For 50W Of 24/7 Wasted Standby Power?


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