Save, make, understand money

Household Bills

Brits waste £1bn on energy costs a year leaving tech on standby

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

Tech left on standby can add around £60 a year to household bills. Here are the most expensive items to leave idling.

Brits rack up energy bills by a collective £1.1bn by leaving eight popular items on standby.

Price comparison site MoneySuperMarket found that a TV box, such as Sky or Virgin Media, is the biggest drain on energy, costing households £25.91 extra a year, even when the TV is switched off.

Leaving a basic multi-room speaker system on standby adds up to £19.66 yearly while a wireless router adds a further £5.64.

The site found that adding these standby costs to those of other everyday items such as a microwave (£3.24), a digital clock (£1.83) and a coffee maker (£1.20) means Brits waste £58.98 a year.

Most expensive items to leave on ‘standby’ over one year:

  1. Digital TV box (left on) – £25.91
  2. Multi-room speakers (in ‘idle’ mode) – £19.66
  3. Modem (left on) – £5.64
  4. Microwave (left on) – £3.24
  5. Digital clock (left on) – £1.83
  6. TV (on standby) – £1.23
  7. Coffee maker (left on) – £1.20
  8. Phone charger (plugged in, not charging) – £0.27

MoneySuperMarket found that Brits are reluctant to turn off their tech. A quarter (24%) said that turning off appliances takes too much time and over half (55%) admitted that they’ve never once turned their wireless router off, even when they go on holiday.

The findings are in stark contrast to the items Brits think are costing them most. Nearly a third of those surveyed (31%) believed TVs were the most expensive item to leave on standby.

Stephen Murray, energy expert at MoneySuperMarket, said: “There are lots of reasons why energy bills are expensive; some we can’t control but others we definitely can. While standby usage for individual appliances doesn’t sound expensive, it can add another £86 to an energy bill but, by being a bit more nimble with usage in the home, households can save money on their bills.

“Anyone with expensive bills should also switch today online to a competitive fixed rate deal – it only takes five minutes and you can save £250.”

Related: See’s Can these well-known energy tricks really save you money?