Standby loads are the energy vampires of the house.  Machines that are always on, with a little red or green LED, or a flashing clock, just waiting for you to press the button.  Low wattage per hour, but because they are always on, in aggregate can use 5-10% of your power.  In the ideal energy saving world, we would all turn off unwanted electricals at the powerpoint, but in reality powerpoints are often behind cabinets, or under benches, and difficult to get to. 

When you are building or renovating, a simple way to avoid these energy wasters, is to install a greenswitch.  This is simply a switch in a convenient position (perhaps at the door to a room), which controls the powerpoints that you want to turn off.  We would often allocate one switch, possbily next to your light switches, which controls hard to get to power points at an appliance hub, like the TV/ stereo/ amplifer/video game console area.  So you can turn off the TV, amp, and other peripherals, like a light switch when leaving the space.  Alternatively, install one at the front door to turn off when leaving the house.  Make sure however that you have nominate powerpoints for those items that need power 24/7, for example the home phone or mobile phone charger, that are seperate from the greenswitch control.  You wouldn't want to come home to runny icecream...


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