Average Australian home$170 a year / 1.7kWh a day / 400kg C02 per year
Smart renter$10 a year / 0.1kWh a day / 20kg C02 per year
Very smart renter$10 a year / 0.1kWh a day / 20kg C02 per year

Standby power is the power that devices use when they are switch off or not in use. Some of these devices are plugged into the power point and some are hardwired into the house (like smoke detectors and split systems). Here are some easy ways to eliminate standby power:

Most Australian power points have an on/off switch for each outlet

  • When something is not being used, switch it off.
  • This includes device chargers that are plugged into the wall and anything with a display or light that remains on when the device is not in use.

Use a powerboard with a remote switch if need be

  • If you have a TV/stereo entertainment unit with multiple plugs that are hard to get to, there are power boards that have a remote switch or footswitch that can be easily switched off.
  • Some of these power boards even feature a permanently on power socket or two so you can keep a home recording unit on standby (for recording during the day) while everything else is switched off.

Turn off seldom used hardwired appliances at the main switchboard


Circuit breakers on a switchboard


  • Some hardwired appliances can be turned off at the main power board when not used for long periods of time.
  • This is good for switching off appliances like ovens that may be used seldomly.
  • Split system heaters/coolers use standby power and can be switched off at the main switchboard outside of the main heating/cooling season.
  • Electric hot water storage heaters can be switched off if you are going on holiday for more than a week (the time that the water will lose it’s heat).

Turn the internet router off when you’re not online

  • This is also psychological; it’s a reminder that the internet is something to be used when you need it rather than something that you need all the time.

Some standby losses are unavoidable

  • Electric gates or garage doors where no other access is available
  • Split system standby losses during the heating/cooling season.
  • Hardwired smoke detectors.
  • Eliminating other unnecessary standby power means that these appliances shouldn’t add much to your electricity bill.

Using these tips, you can eliminate most of your standby power consumption. Switching things off when they are not needed becomes an automatic behaviour pretty quickly.

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