Save electricity: Switch off your ?standby? power guzzlers | india | Hindustan Times
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Save electricity: Switch off your ?standby? power guzzlers

TURN OFF your electricity gadgets when not in use. Your remote controlled gadgets guzzle up a good amount of electricity when in the standby mode. That?s a sure shot way to trim your monthly electricity bills and contribute your bit to the ?save-energy campaign?.Changing lifestyle is one of the major reasons for UP?s ever increasing requirement of electricity.

india Updated: May 28, 2006 01:14 IST

TURN OFF your electricity gadgets when not in use. Your remote controlled gadgets guzzle up a good amount of electricity when in the standby mode. That’s a sure shot way to trim your monthly electricity bills and contribute your bit to the ‘save-energy campaign’.

Changing lifestyle is one of the major reasons for UP’s ever increasing requirement of electricity. Just think of how people make beelines for the ‘melas’ (fairs) held by companies to sell air-conditioners every summer in the city. The State’s aspiring middle class is consuming more electricity now. And this is largely due to the modern generation’s random use of mobile, microwave ovens, personal computers, music systems, TVs, instant geysers and the like.

Invertors and UPSs are a major cause of standby electricity loss in the State.

If a recent study conducted by one of the power distribution companies in Delhi is to be believed, nearly 175 MW of electricity (25 per cent of the total electricity generated in Delhi) worth over Rs 613 crore is wasted/consumed by the gadgets in the ‘standby mode’.

The situation may not be different in UP. The total number of electric gadgets in UP must be far more than those in Delhi. Industry sources said, as per a conservative estimate there were over 5 lakh air-conditioners of 1.5 tone capacity and 12,000 microwave ovens in the State in 2005.

Since in UP the availability of power is around 5000 MW and we assume that only 10 per cent (unlike 25 per cent in Delhi as pointed out by the study) of it is consumed by gadgets in a standby mode, we will be losing power to the extent of 500 MW this way alone.

Chairman of Energy Conservation Committee Shailendra Dubey said gadgets in the standby mode did consume power and urged power consumers to switch off gadgets when not in use. UP Cold Storage Association president Mahendra Swaroop also admitted that gadgets consumed power in the standby mode, though, he found it difficult to calculate the loss.

In fact, with changing lifestyle and easy availability of loans, people are buying the latest remote controlled devices like TVs, ACs, DVDs, microwave ovens etc and directly contributing to the loss of energy, knowingly or unknowingly.

A majority of consumers switch on and off electronic gadgets from the remote control only, not realising that gadgets still consume electricity in the standby mode. It is said a typical microwave oven consumes more power powering its digital clock than it does heating food. It’s found that microwave ovens are kept in the standby mode for more than 99 per cent of its usage time.

“The problem,” the Delhi study said, “is not just confined to India. It is as much prevalent in countries like the US. But the difference is that the US has woken up to the problem and has begun taking necessary corrective measures. For example, on January 1, 2006, the California Energy Commission introduced mandatory standby requirements for various electronic devices — the first such obligatory regulation in the world”.

The study claimed that Alan Meier, a scientist at the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory (LBNL), had estimated that the standby power accounted for approximately 5 per cent (and going up to 10 per cent in some cases) of the total residential electricity consumption in America. Not wondering, regulators around the world have now started introducing rules designed to encourage manufactures to make their products less-power hungry.

In India too, the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BOEE), a Government of India undertaking, is launching energy efficiency labelling for refrigerators and tubular fluorescent lamps from June 30. The scheme will become mandatory by the end of 2006. It seeks to force manufactures in all States to produce energy-efficient refrigerators and tubular fluorescent lamps.