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United States
I’ll do it, but only if you’ll help

Pledge “SaveLecandDosh”

"I will Turn all my electrical appliances off stand by (TV, HiFi, etc) but only if 50 other people will do the same."

— Pauline Yates, Enjoy Life.

Deadline to sign up by: 13th July 2005
74 people signed up (24 over target)

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Turning these off stand by can save £10 per appliance and a lot of electricity.
So in an average family house with a PC, 2 TVs and a HiFi that's £40.

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Comments on this pledge

  • Having signed up to this pledge, I'd just like to add a rant. Of all the appliances in my house, I notice my VCR, Hi-Fi and cable box are all missing a power switch so the only way to turn them off is at the wall (and then of course, they forget the time, despite the fact that the hi-fi sets its time via RDS anyway). For all the companies that put a nice, obvious power button on the front, I thank you, for the rest of you, you should be bloody ashamed. And if my computer can remember the time after being unplugged, why can't you? It's something I'll look out for when I replace my equipment alongside the A energy efficiency rating.
    Craig Nicol, 12 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Well said!!

    This is a bugbear I have found with some of my electronics.

    However, I have been keeping up with my pledge and even my son has managed to turn his TV off 'properly' for a whole week.
    Pauline Yates, 12 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • I've got most of my electronics on a big power strip that I do my best to remember to turn off when I'm not using the things.

    My other electronics run off of a solar panel (unfortunately just one 80W panel, as we're in a rental apartment right now), so I'm very aware of making sure they are really "off", and not draining the storage battery!

    Now I'm just trying to negotiate with my partner on a way to "unplug" the microwave and toaster oven in a way that isn't too annoying for him :-)
    Turil Cronburg, 12 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Toaster's and things are easy. All our kitchen wall sockets are switched, so don't even have to unplug them. Keep forgetting to switch them on for my morning coffee though :-)

    Don't know if any of you have seen The Independent today, but their front page story gives good reason for signing this pledge. 1 million tonnes of CO2 a year, enough power for Birmingham for 1 year, or enough power for all of UK's street lights for 4 years:
    Craig Nicol, 12 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • After watching Bill Oddie addressing this issue last night on This Week on BBC1, does anyone know of any existing campaigns to ask manufacturers to produce proper power switches?

    My manifesto, which I'd hoppe such a campaign would address, would follow something like this:

    a) There should be no stand-by button, only off.
    b) When the equipment is off, it will draw no power from the mains (so transformers will be disconnected too)
    c) IF you NEED to display the time on your device, either store it somewhere safe (as TVs and Video recorders do with the tuning information, for example), or reset it automatically whenever the device is turned on (e.g. via Teletext, RDS, atomic clock signal from Rugby, Internet time signals).
    d) I WILL NOT buy any device that does not satisfy conditions a-c

    Of course, we also need someway of testing these claims, so it would be nice if there was a website somewhere that listed how much power a device uses when on, whether it has a stand-by mode or a power button and if it has a clock, does that clock blank itself when power is turned off.

    Maybe that should be a pledge :-) Send the above manifesto to as many electrical manufacturers/retailers as you can...
    Craig Nicol, 12 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Now I've said that, I have found some information on 'vampire power' and good and bad devices. It's a start:
    Craig Nicol, 12 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • A note about turning off PC's... Even if you have shut down your PC from within Windows (or an equivalent OS) your PC will not actually turn off. A residual current flows to allow for some advanced features and often the network card will stay active.

    The only way to turn off a PC is to turn it off at the mains, or unplug it, after it has finished shutting down. The same is also true for a number of TFT\LCD monitors.
    chris jones, 12 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • If you have new and reasonably well built hardware then this is something of red herring.

    Most TV sold since 1998 (in the UK) not only meet but in fact *exceed* Energy Star ® guidelines and use miniscule amounts of power (as indeed they should, they are only powering an IR receiver after all).

    10 UKP worth of mains electricity per appliance is meaningless if you don't specify over what time period that is over (e.g. quarterly - per bill -, annually, or over the life of a device?). I would add that even for a 12 month period is ridiculously high figure for any reasonably recent TV (i.e. made in the last 7-8 years) and of course they are by far the worst offenders historically.

    I would urge you to actually check the specifications for your hardware and find out what it's power usage is (for things like TV's this is commonly in the manual) and then calculate the true cost based on how much time your TV spends idle and how much your electricity company charges per unit, before judging whether this is really worth the time and effort. You may find it isn't worth it if you are only saving a few pence a year.

    Regarding computers, all personal computers (laptops, desktops, from Dell to Apple's) have small batteries on the motherboard to help them tick over and keep track of time (and occasionally it's used to provide power to hold other system settings in memory). They are their because some form of power is needed to to keep track of time, otherwise the time would just reset to the last time they were used when turned on, which is hardly satisfactory.

    If your computer's time is resetting when you unplug it from the wall, it's a sure sign the battery has gone flat and is overdue for replacement. You should open it up, locate the battery on the motherboard and replace it (or in the case of a laptop, have it serviced). You can purchase the batteries from most electronics/hardware stores (e.g. the likes of Maplin, possibly PC World in the UK). This battery should last about 4-5 years.
    Iain Collins, 12 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Thank you for your opinion Iain, but I have recently had my electricity bill in and it is down by £20 for the quarter.
    My tv was bought in 2002 (in fact most of my hardware was bought in the last 5 years).
    I will admit to being a bit sneaky and I started using the 'off' switch before this pledge was met (in fact the day I registered this pledge), but my bill speaks for itself - I know what I'll be doing from now on.
    I hope everyone who did sign up to the pledge uses their own abilities to gather information and judge whether it is "really worth the time and effort".
    After all it's our planet and our money.
    Pauline Yates, 12 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • I'm sure everybody means well, so I happy present my working for further scrutiny.

    Your average TV on standby uses 5 watts, this is roughly the same as a VCR on standby (typically 5-10 watts) or a computer in sleep mode (around 3-5 watts).

    NB: Devices almost always print their power usage on them, as well as it being in the manual - this is not an indicator of the average power usage, but instead indicates the maximum possible power usage, which is why most TV's are rated at 10 watts. You must use something like a watt-meter to measure how many watts it's actually using.

    Doing some basic math to work out how much it's costing (by working out the usage in kWh, then multiplying that by the amount the electricity company charge):

    5 watts x (24 x 365) = 43800 (and / 1000 to give kWh)

    This give us 43 kWh for your average TV set, and that's assuming it's on standby mode all year round.

    At 0.08 UKP per kWh (which is roughly what I pay London Energy IIRC, between 7 and 9 pence - YMMV so feel free to work out the cost yourself for your own electricity provider), this equals 3.50 UKP per quarter.

    Of course the figure wouldn't even be as high as 3 UKP, because you'd be watching the TV as well. I would estimate an actual cost of somewhere in the region of 2.75 or 3.00 UKP per quarter I would say.

    Certainly the figures could be a bit higher in different areas, based on slightly higher actual usage (e.g. 6 watts instead of 5) and a high charge per unit from the local electricity companies (e.g. 9 pence per unit instead of 8) but equally it could also be less. I'd really be surprised if it was much more than the figures given here!

    Rather than worrying about this, my concern would be far more about putting undue strain on the components on the device by repeatedly powering it completely up and down, which is likely to make it need servicing (and requiring replacement parts) sooner than it might otherwise.

    I'm specifically concerned that replacing parts in a TV set (or having to replace the entire set - which unfortunately is increasingly the case with modern integrated electronics) may actually be even less environmentally friendly and less cost effective (when you factor in the cost of replacing an entire set).

    Best regards,
    Iain Collins, 12 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Does the digital clock on my cooker and microwave use much energy..
    Peter Trodden, 11 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • This is the height of obsessive-compulsive behaviour justified with economic excuses. If you want to save money on your power bill, don't boil the kettle and forget about it, or leave the oven on for a few minutes longer than you need it.

    Remember, in ONE MINUTE of leaving the oven on, it uses the same amount of power as even the most power-hungry out-moded TV in standby for an ENTIRE DAY.

    I hope you're as tight with your other out-goings, I certainly wouldn't want to live with you.

    Watch the pounds and the pennies will watch themselves!
  • It's not that obsessive-compulsive if you find the happy medium. Namely, turning off things that you don't use that often, or those that are easy to turn on again (ie. don't have a long warm-up time).

    Going through this exercise also improved my awareness of usage, so I leave the PC running less often, I use less water in the kettle and I put lids on pans. I also replaced the last few light bulbs with fluorescents.

    It's not just the £10 per appliance per year. It's the fact that I don't like waste.

    PS. One minute of my oven (2KW) uses 3-4 hours standby power of a typical unit (about 10 Watts). Though once the oven has heated up, the element will not be on all the time. With ovens, you should avoid opening the door too much to keep the heat in.
    Steve M, 10 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
This pledge is closed for new comments.

Current signatories (Green text = they've done it)

Pauline Yates, the Pledge Creator, joined by:

  • Pete
  • Stephanie Connor
  • Nicola Fish
  • Claudine
  • Emily Glazebrook
  • Joanne Bush
  • Emma Adams
  • zoe woods
  • Alison Hagan
  • Amy Gilham
  • Rhys Phillips
  • Lynne
  • Joanna
  • Nia Williams
  • Angela
  • Cat W
  • Barry Crawley
  • Emma
  • Jon Bourne
  • Ruth
  • Ryan Morrison
  • Peter Munro
  • Penny Brown
  • Craig Nicol
  • Gary Matthews
  • Paul Snookes
  • Elle Dodd
  • Bethan
  • Kathy Lewis
  • Polly Cassidy
  • Inga
  • Euan Wilson
  • Jenna Beasley
  • dairygirl
  • Peter Bancroft
  • Zoe Goodacre
  • Jim Williams
  • Jenny Marlowe
  • Laura P
  • Jen
  • Sarah Durham
  • John Dawson
  • Stacey Frier
  • Turil Cronburg
  • Clare Hewitson
  • John Fisher
  • Steve Goodman
  • Dave Graham
  • david mcgowan
  • Raj
  • David Ward
  • Ali Lighton
  • Jon Grant
  • Emma Smith
  • Graham B
  • Sinead
  • Jay
  • Sam Long
  • Madhu
  • Bodil
  • Kelsey
  • Angelina
  • chris jones
  • Susan Small
  • Jessica Scarboro
  • Sally Gurney
  • David Ian Evans
  • Deborah Hansson
  • James Timmons
  • Patricia Smith
  • Candida Spillard
  • Kev Williams
  • Katy Martin

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