How much money does switching off at the wall REALLY save...?

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  • dufftownallan 1 Sep 2009 09:48:13 4,725 posts
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    i only ask because my flatmate keeps unplugging the toaster (but bizarely leaves the kettle switched on...) he also unplugs the micro because it apparently uses up a lot of power when plugged in (that digital clock thing must really worry the folks down at the national grid...)

    i'm meeting him half way by switching the telly and the games consoles off at the wall when im not using them in the living room but i'm incredibly sceptical that it would save a HUGE amount of money in the long run.

    while we're here, its not necessary to actually take the plug out as well, is it? flicking the switch should do the job?

    does anyone have any actual science type knowlesge about this?
    i know i could google all this but im at work and my internet use has to be frugal and furtive...
  • Dougs 1 Sep 2009 09:49:35 67,184 posts
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    Fucked if I know. I turn my PCs off, but leave the telly etc on, as Sky+ is normally doing its thing. Plus the plug is a pain to reach. Laziness ftw
  • DaM 1 Sep 2009 09:51:49 12,991 posts
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    I know fuck all about it, but individually, I can't imagine it amounts to much moneywise. If you add everyone together though, it probably saves an impressive sounding amount of CO2 emissions.

    Plus flicking the switch is enough - we used to use a shared kettle at work and someone would always unplug it, which was really annoying when you came back to make your coffee to find it cold.
  • JetSetWilly 1 Sep 2009 09:52:08 5,721 posts
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    Not sure really. The biggest electricity drain in your house are those appliances that cool/freeze and those that heat. Making sure that they are efficient as possible probably has a far bigger impact than switching off the toaster at the mains.
  • Deleted user 1 September 2009 09:53:07
    Can a kettle really use electricity when it's not heating water?
  • kalel 1 Sep 2009 09:53:57 86,961 posts
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    When I got my plasma, I was being lazy and leaving it on stand-by, and I saw a noticeable rise in my elec bills so quickly started turning off at the plug. I think for certain appliances it does make a big difference.
  • DaM 1 Sep 2009 09:54:57 12,991 posts
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    boabg wrote:
    Can a kettle really use electricity when it's not heating water?

    Obviously not. Unless it has a wee light on it, so you can find it in the dark.
  • FWB 1 Sep 2009 09:55:08 44,225 posts
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    Standard light bulbs will be banned under EU legislation soon (by soon I mean in the next few weeks). I wouldn't mind but low energy bulbs are a) shit and b) full of mercury which is bitch to dispose of. Expect suicide rates to go up soon.
  • Psychotext 1 Sep 2009 09:56:19 53,940 posts
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    Unless it's something that has an active standby... it's going to make fuck all difference.
  • kalel 1 Sep 2009 09:56:28 86,961 posts
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    /stocks up on standard light bulbs
  • Lutz 1 Sep 2009 09:57:21 48,854 posts
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    dufftownallan wrote:
    i only ask because my flatmate keeps unplugging the toaster (but bizarely leaves the kettle switched on...) he also unplugs the micro because it apparently uses up a lot of power when plugged in (that digital clock thing must really worry the folks down at the national grid...)
    Seriously, my Dads microwave was costing him about 25p a day to leave switched, doing nothing, except passing the time on a digital clock. Bizzare!
  • DaM 1 Sep 2009 09:57:24 12,991 posts
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    SAFETY TIP Always turn the toaster off at the mains if you have to stick a knife down it to recover some toast. Maybe he is just shite at making toast.
  • FairgroundTown 1 Sep 2009 09:57:41 2,522 posts
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    We are currently borrowing one of those "How much electricity are you using right now?" meters; and it looks like leaving the microwave on standby (with the digital clock) costs...

    / goes to check

    ... pretty-much nothing.

    (Can't check the TV 'cos my son is watching it.)
  • gang_of_bitches 1 Sep 2009 09:58:00 5,477 posts
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    DaM wrote:
    boabg wrote:
    Can a kettle really use electricity when it's not heating water?

    Obviously not. Unless it has a wee light on it, so you can find it in the dark.

    And everyone loves boiling water in the dark :-)
  • Lutz 1 Sep 2009 09:58:28 48,854 posts
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    boabg wrote:
    Can a kettle really use electricity when it's not heating water?
    Simple answer is yes. You have a complete circuit. Your mobile phone charger is drawing power even when it's not connected to your phone. It's not a lot at all, but it is there...
  • pinebear 1 Sep 2009 10:00:04 8,565 posts
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    Best thing imo is to switch electricity companies to one of the eco suppliers doing the rounds. Bit more expensive on the whole, but if you don't switch off at the wall at least you know it's going towards the good cause of (relatively) sustainable energy. Solar, wind, tidal harvesting - future friendly tech and all that.

  • Deleted user 1 September 2009 10:02:04
    I'll just pull all the circuit breakers from now on.
  • FWB 1 Sep 2009 10:02:49 44,225 posts
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    kalel wrote:
    /stocks up on standard light bulbs

    That's my plan.
  • FairgroundTown 1 Sep 2009 10:04:26 2,522 posts
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    blizeH wrote:
    Our last bill was around 330, so I'm certainly interested in stuff like this - apparently that's quite high
    Per year? This is a LOT less than us, and we are pretty careful - always turn my Wii off at the wall, for example, and unplug the phone chargers when they aren't being used.
  • Dougs 1 Sep 2009 10:06:50 67,184 posts
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    I really do need to switch energy companies. Any good deals around, 50% chance bills are going to rise apparently.
  • grey_matters 1 Sep 2009 10:07:04 3,690 posts
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    As a percentage of your overall electricity usage it is absolutely fuck all. Boiling a half full kettle but only using a quarter of it is far more wasteful. Depends on the item of course but usually it'll be less than a watt going through a mobile phone charger. TVs can be more though.
  • markh 1 Sep 2009 10:08:54 3,598 posts
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    Electronic items like Plasma/LCD tvs, computers etc will still use electricity on standby. TV's because they still need to be aware if you're using the remote and laptops because that's how the power adaptors work.

    You can calculate the cost by finding out the power they use, multiplying this for the hours on (per day or year depending on the time range you're interested in) and then multiplying this by your unit cost of electricity. You can then multiply this figure by 0.537 to give you the kg of CO2 needed to provide this electricity.
  • dufftownallan 1 Sep 2009 10:10:07 4,725 posts
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    its more a case of annoyance and conveniance than anything else. its one of those little things that my flatmate does which irritates the shit out of me (conversly im sure that leaving the toaster plugged in annoys him...). i just cant see why he would go to the bother of completely unplugging the toaster while the kettle plug stays in, i just dont get that in the slightest.

    micro, perhaps but in the first few comments here we have kalels dads word versus fairgroundtowns word and i bet you any money you like my flatmate has taken the word of the more extreme argument and stuck with that. that would annoy the fuck out of me even more tbh, i hate it when people get duped into believing something without looking at the other side of the coin first. its ok tho, i hardly ever use the micro anyway.
  • Angel_Treats 1 Sep 2009 10:10:29 11,072 posts
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    kalel wrote:
    When I got my plasma, I was being lazy and leaving it on stand-by, and I saw a noticeable rise in my elec bills so quickly started turning off at the plug. I think for certain appliances it does make a big difference.

    We haven't a plasma, we have a 42" LCD thing, and we never turn it off at the wall. We just turn it off at the switch on top of the telly (although we don't leave it on stand by).

    I've no idea how big our electricity bills are because it's the one bill Rutty is in charge of! Perhaps I should take a look...

    Hm. Apparently our bill for the quarter is 112.85. That doesn't seem too bad. We live in a one bedroom flat. We never switch anything off at the wall, my iMac is always left in sleep and only actually shut down when I'm on holiday, and the TV is on quite a lot.
  • Dougs 1 Sep 2009 10:13:22 67,184 posts
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    100 a quarter sounds about right, for a one bed flat. Cheap even. I tend to stick aside 100-150 a month for Gas and electricity. I refuse to give the fuckers cash by DD
  • Chopsen 1 Sep 2009 10:13:58 15,867 posts
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    Depends on how many watts something uses in standby. Using a kilowatt for an hour costs pennies. But there are a lot of hours in a year.

    /not helpful
  • Angel_Treats 1 Sep 2009 10:15:35 11,072 posts
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    Dougs wrote:
    100 a quarter sounds about right, for a one bed flat. Cheap even. I tend to stick aside 100-150 a month for Gas and electricity. I refuse to give the fuckers cash by DD

    No, we don't pay by DD either. I'm not sure why, tbh, we pay everything else by DD.
  • Retroid Moderator 1 Sep 2009 10:17:24 44,512 posts
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    dufftownallan wrote:
    does anyone have any actual science type knowlesge about this?
    i know i could google all this but im at work and my internet use has to be frugal and furtive...
    Using the shift key for capitals wastes no money at all ;)
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