• Posted by CERC India
  • Posted in

Should you turn off appliances at power point?  


If you look around your house you will find many appliances: TVs, computers, microwaves, phone chargers and washing machines that are on standby mode. They all use energy even when you think you’ve turned them off. This is called phantom load or vampire power.

People leave their appliances on standby mode either because they feel lazy to turn them off or because of the convenience of a quick start-up when they need to use the device. However, standby energy costs inflate your energy bill. Even worse, they lead to tonnes of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases being emitted.

Older and less energy efficient appliances are the biggest culprits. Common device culprits are stereos, followed by TVs and games consoles. Games consoles remain in idle mode when they’re not in use, consuming almost the same power as when you are playing a game.


  • As a general rule of thumb, if a gadget isn’t in use, then the best policy is to switch it off at the wall. Better still, and this is safer, unplug the appliance or gadget.
  • Standby power consumption is sometimes included in product specs. Look for those with very low amounts, ideally one watt or less, when you purchase an appliance.
  • When choosing an appliance that shouldn’t be turned off, such as a fridge, look for one that combines the lowest running cost and best performance.
  • To make it easier, for instance, have a TV and its peripheral equipment on the same multi-socket extension so it can all be switched off in one go.
  • If you use a desktop computer, set up the ‘sleep’ mode which uses just a few watts of energy. Set a time delay of 10 minutes of inactivity.
  • Don’t leave your laptops on charge constantly or charge them
  • On average mobile phones take two hours to charge. Don’t charge them longer, especially not overnight.
  • Get into the habit of switching the lights off when you leave a room.


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