I keep hearing this argument that if you powered down all the appliances you normally leave on standby (TV, hifi, set top box, DVD/Blu ray player, computer, etc) you'll save nearly £90 a year in electricity bills.
However, the table in the linked article claims 10 watts as the standby power of a typical TV. My understanding is that EU regulations limit TV power consumption in standby mode to 1 watt maximum so I decided to do a little digging. My TV is an old 50 inch plasma, which I know guzzles electricity when powered up, but I never suspected it of using a great deal of power when in standby. As confirmed by the specs, it uses 1 watt in standby as opposed to 10 as claimed in the This Is Money article. I've not checked the specs of other appliances on that list yet but given the results for my power-hungry TV I think the rest of the figures are highly questionable as well.
Yet the advice I keep hearing advocates turning appliances completely off instead of leaving them in standby. This advices gets trotted out on fairly regular intervals by the national papers (as recently as today). My power supplier also makes similar suggestions along with replacing bulbs with energy saving bulbs, which does seem a reasonable measure as the house I recently moved into was outfitted with 8x50 watt halogen spotlights in the kitchen and I've not noticed any real downside to replacing them with equivalent LED bulbs that use 5.5 watts. 44 watts to light the kitchen versus 400 seems like a pretty significant win.
Yet, no matter how often I hear this advice I remain unconvinced. Can you really save £90 a year by turning everything completely off instead of leaving it all in standby, or are the figures vastly inflated for other products as they turned out to be for my TV?
If you can't make significant savings this way, then what do the power companies, etc, have to gain by continuing to circulate advice that (if the figures for all appliances have been inflated by a factor of 10) would save you a tenner a year at best? I could speculate on possible motives (getting us all to agree to having smart meters installed, trying to put off investment in power plants and national grid as long as possible, shifting the blame unto us if/when power supply starts to become constrained in the future, etc), but levelling accusations of that nature feels like falling foul of conspiracy-theorist thinking.