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Standby Power - Miscellaneous

Standby Power Campaigns

Here you can find various campaigns aimed at reducing Standby Power consumption. Please visit these sites to learn about conservation actions that can help you save money and help the environment.

If you would like to have your Standby Power campaign listed here, please contact:

Ontario Power Authority

Ready-to-use Articles

Standby Power - What you need to know

When you turn off an electronic device or appliance in your home, you may not realize electricity is still consumed by that device or appliance. However, even when turned "off", as long as they are plugged into an electric socket, most of them will still continue to use electricity – referred to as Standby Power – to operate features such as clocks, timers, internal circuits, or to receive signals from remote controls.

Although typical electronic devices and appliances only consume a few watts of electricity, they might spend a significant amount of time everyday drawing upon Standby Power. Plus, the number of items that draw on Standby Power is large, and growing. In developed countries, households use about 5 to 10 percent of their electricity in Standby mode. Excessive Standby Power consumption costs you money and also has a significant effect on the environment.

The Government of Canada recognizes the importance of reducing Standby Power. Natural Resources Canada administers and promotes the ENERGY STAR® program in Canada. For a product to qualify for ENERGY STAR, it has to meet certain electricity consumption requirements, both in active mode and Standby mode. As well, these devices may also have power management features that will help you save money on your electrical bill.

Canada is in the process of proposing a regulation on Standby Power that focuses on different product categories. The possible adoption of a 1 watt policy on Standby Power for some electronics means that the potential annual energy savings is equivalent to taking 80,000 cars off the road by 2030.

Luckily, everyone can make an impact on reducing Standby Power. There are simple actions you can take to significantly reduce Standby Power consumption.


  • Using power bars to help you manage Standby Power. You can plug your home office equipment (PC, monitor, printer, etc) into a power bar and turn it off when not in use.
  • Choosing ENERGY STAR qualified products because they consume significantly less (usually less than 1W) electricity while in Standby mode. It makes really good sense considering the money you will be saving in the long-run.
  • Checking the owner's manual to ensure you are taking full advantage of any energy-saving features that are available.

For specific ways to reduce Standby Power consumption around the house, visit the following link:

Standby Power – Beyond the Basics

You might already be aware that Standby Power exists so you unplug certain electronics and maybe even some appliances when they are not in use. You might also already look for ENERGY STAR® qualified products when shopping for new purchases. However, there may be some more things you do not know, that could help you save even more money on your electricity bill.

Firstly, consider getting a watt meter, a device that measures the supply rate of energy in watts. You can purchase one from the store, or even borrow it. Some public librarians also carry watt meters that are available for their members to borrow. Some watt meters do not read below 1W, but that is not a problem because you probably do not need to unplug a device consuming less than 1W of Standby Power. Measuring how many watts your devices consume in Standby mode is a great way to prioritize which items to unplug.

You may think that a certain device does not consume a significant amount of Standby Power, but the opposite may be true. For example, the amount of Standby Power DVD players consume varies substantially, ranging from 1W to 10.25W (based on 39 models tested). The difference is even greater when you compare the new DVD players with older ones. So if you take a watt meter and do some measuring, you might be surprised at what you find. If you want to avoid devices that consume high amounts of Standby Power, consider choosing one that is ENERGY STAR qualified when making your next purchase.

Additionally, you can buy power bars which include features that better help you manage Standby Power consumption. There are power bars available that have timers which will cut off power after a certain amount of time. There are also power bars that can detect motion and will cut the power off when there is no motion in the room for a certain amount of time. Lastly, there are also intelligent power bars that consist of a master receptacle and several "slave" receptacles. The power bar detects when the product that is plugged into the master receptacle has been shut "off", and disconnects power to the slave receptacles. Thus no power is available to the products in the slave receptacles. All of these power bars offer a great and easy way to manage your home office or entertainment equipment.

In the future, you can expect Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) to pass regulation on Standby Power that focuses on different product categories. These regulations will go a long way in helping Canada reduce Standby Power consumption. You can keep updated on NRCan's Energy Efficiency Regulations by visiting:

For more ways to reduce Standby Power consumption around the house, visit the following link: