Up to €35 million being wasted each year by people not switching domestic appliances off fully 16/01/04

Media Information                                                                                                             16th Jan. 2004

Up to €35 million being wasted each year by people not switching domestic appliances off fully

People urged to act to save money and the environment - "See Red Switch Off" According to Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI), leaving domestic appliances on standby, rather than switching them off fully, is costing the Irish economy millions in wasted energy each year – and damaging our environment in the process.

Speaking as SEI launched a Spring offensive on needless wastage of electricity, Tom Halpin, Head of Customer Services , SEI, today said that total standby power consumption in the residential sector could be costing as much as €35 million each year, based on a national housing stock of 1.3 million households. This represents 5% of all residential electricity consumption and about 1.6% of Ireland’s total electricity consumption, accounting for over a quarter of a million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2), the main greenhouse gas.

The main standby offenders in any Irish home are TVs, Video Recorders, DVDs, Video Games, Satellite Decoders, Hi-Fi’s, PCs and Monitors and Microwave Ovens. This list is not exhaustive however, and in the case of many of the items, there are often more than one in a home.

According to SEI, appliances left on standby in an average Irish home result in 30 watts of electricity being wasted each hour. Over one year, that equates to the same amount of energy as 220 loads in a washing machine, or leaving a 60 watt bulb on constantly for 150 days.

Mr. Halpin said, “We all have responsibility for our own energy use and must consider changes we can make in our daily lives to be more efficient. A huge proportion of greenhouse gas emissions of which C02 is the main one, are produced as a result of the energy we use in our daily lives. In addition, householders are all too aware of the continuing rise in energy and electricity prices. In time, the proposed carbon tax will also result in price rises designed to stimulate reduced energy use. So, becoming more energy efficient will save you money as well as benefiting the environment. If everybody makes even a small change, the result can be dramatic on a national level – even something as simple as turning off electrical appliances fully rather than leaving them on stand-by. We want everyone to See Red and Switch Off ”.

SEI is currently running a TV advertising campaign encouraging people to ‘’See Red and Switch Off ”. thereby saving money and benefiting the environment.

Sustainable Energy Ireland was established on May 1st, 2002, as a statutory authority charged with promoting and assisting the development of sustainable energy. Sustainable Energy Ireland is funded by the Irish Government under the National Development Plan 2000-2006 with programmes part financed by the European Union.

For more information on energy efficiency in the home, contact the SEI hotline 1850 376 666 or log onto www.sei.ie to find out more.

For further information please contact:
Diarmuid O’Neill
01-6789333 / 087-6699933

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