Quantification of Residential Standby Power Consumption in Australia: Results of Recent Survey Work

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This study provides results of an intrusive survey where measurements on 2,500 appliances were undertaken in 64 houses in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. The report also includes results of measurements on 531 new appliances in retail outlets and results of a telephone survey of 801 households in Australia which documents information on appliance ownership, age and usage patterns.

Objectives of this Study

The Australian Greenhouse Office (AGO) and the National Appliance & Equipment Energy Efficiency Committee (NAEEEC) wanted to quantify the extent of residential standby energy consumption in Australia in order to provide a benchmark from which to evaluate a number of proposed NAEEEC programs which aim to influence standby energy consumption of new products.  In general terms, the objectives of the study were to:

  • Quantify the magnitude of electricity used by appliances in standby mode Australia-wide in the residential sector;
  • Assess the current penetration of appliances using power in standby mode, together with historical changes and forecast trends to help identify key products and issues;
  • Quantify the magnitude of electricity currently used by small appliances which do not strictly fall into the definition of “standby” but which are likely to contribute to miscellaneous energy consumption (small continuous appliances); and
  • Identify those product types with poor standby profiles and with current or forecast rapid growth that are likely to contribute to an increase in standby energy consumption within the residential sector in Australia.

For the purposes of this report, “standby” refers to a product or appliance that is connected to a power source but does not produce any sound or picture, transmit or receive information or is waiting to be switched “on” by a direct or indirect signal from the consumer. This includes the “off” mode, even where there is no remote control.

For more information on standby power in Australia, please visit the Equipment Energy Efficiency Program (E3), a collaborative initiative involving all jurisdictions in Australia and New Zealand.


Lloyd Harrington, Energy Efficient Strategies 

Paula Kleverlaan, EnergyConsult

Information from: NAEEEC


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