British households could save £1.7bn a year by switching appliances off standby

The Energy Saving Trust's latest research shows that British households could save £1.7bn a year simply by switching appliances off standby. In the countdown to next week’s Big Energy Saving Week – a joint campaign between Energy Saving Trust, Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and Citizens Advice – research reveals the number of appliances in homes is sending bills out of control and costing households billions.


  • 74% of people are worried about energy bills
  • Yet ONLY half of households who have received an unexpectedly high energy bill check if unused appliances are switched off
  • 55% of households have games consoles, a quarter of over 55s have them
  • Nearly 40% leave consoles either on or in standby mode when not in use
  • Three quarters of those with a spare TV keep it on standby

Philip Sellwood, Chief Executive of Energy Saving Trust, said:

“We are a nation on standby. Whatever your age, gender or the size of your household: our research has found that millions of us are unintentionally wasting electricity when we leave our gadgets on standby. It’s an easy mistake to make yet it costs us a fortune. And as we become more tech-savvy it’s hardly surprising our home appliances don’t come with an energy-cost warning label on them.”

Throughout the campaign the Energy Saving Trust will be issuing research and guidance to help householders learn how to take control of their electricity and heating bills with free advice available throughout the week over the phone, online and at events across the UK.

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said: “Every day, Citizens Advice helps people who are struggling to meet the cost of their energy bills. Eighty thousand people a year come to us for help with fuel debts.”

“With prices up a third since 2010, it’s more important than ever that people know what they can do to keep their fuel bills down and what help is available. That’s why we’re running events up and down the country to help people make sure they are not paying a penny more than they have to.”

To find a local event visit

For further information on saving energy visit or call the Energy Saving Advice Service (England and Wales) on 0300 123 1234 or Home Energy Scotland on 0808 808 2282.

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