The UK is officially Europe's worst energy waster. A recent study showed that bad habits such as leaving electrical appliances on standby will cost UK households approximately £11bn by 2010.
"So what can I do to help save electricity"?
One of the easiest things you can do is to change all standard light bulbs (lamps) for energy saving ones. Most standard lamps are now available in Low-energy versions. You can also fit occupancy sensors in a lot of commercial and industrial premises. On a large property this can provide a fantastic annual saving!
By the use of timers you can also limit or regulate when certain electrical items are used. e.g. Washing machines and Tumble Driers may benefit from being used at night on Economy 7. In commercial premise the External/Car park lighting may not be required after a certain times of the night.
It may not be practical to turn a computer on-and-off if it is to be used throughout the day. However, the Energy Saving Trust suggests turning the monitor off when not in use. Peripherals like printers and scanners should also be turned off when not in use. Leaving unnecessary items on standby is said to costs each household an average of £37 a year.
If devices such as mobile phones and MP3 players were unplugged when not in use, the UK could save enough electricity each year to power 115,000 homes.
Chargers are not huge energy consumers in their own right, but if a charger feels warm when it is plugged in without being attached to a device, it is still converting energy and using electricity.
If all UK households replaced one light bulb with an energy efficient one, the money saved could pay about 75,000 family fuel bills a year.
"If you are going out of a room for half and hour, or even 10 minutes, turn the lights off,"
On average a traditional cathode ray tube (CRT) television set uses 100 watts of power when in use and about two watts on standby.
Newer LCD and plasma televisions are higher consumers of electricity, with the largest models consuming up to 400 watts when in use and about four watts on standby.
Consumers can safely switch off most DVD players/recorders, hard disk recorders or video recorders purchased in recent years, according to the Energy Saving Trust.
Owners should not need to retune the devices when they are switched back on or have to contend with resetting the clock as the machines usually retain their settings.
However, manufacturers recommend that some satellite TV receivers be left in standby when not in use so they can receive updates.
It does not harm the electricity supply or the bulbs.
Fill washing machines to maximum for each cycle. Washing at 30C as opposed to 40C, uses 40% less energy and is generally as efficient, according to the Energy Saving Trust.
Consumers are being encouraged to make sure they buy Energy Saving Recommended models when buying new appliances such as washing machines and fridges.
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