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Switching off electrical appliances properly

Powerbutton einer Mehrfachsteckdose

Appliances that have been switched off often continue to use electricity. We explain here how to make sure they are disconnected from the power supply:

Avoid stand-by mode: Stand-by mode means an electrical appliance is switched off but still connected to the power supply and consuming electricity. TVs, stereos, DVD players and computer monitors in particular go into stand-by mode when switched off. You can usually notice this as a small light remains on. The no-load loss from stand-by mode can total up to 150 kWh per year with older appliances. This would allow you to watch 1,500 hours of TV, for example.

Disconnect the plug: Some electrical appliances still use electricity even when they are switched off on the system. Power supply units are secret electricity users. You should therefore remove the plug from the socket when appliances are not in use. 

Use multiple outlet strips: A multiple outlet strip with an on/off switch is a simple and practical way of disconnecting several appliances from the power supply. However, you should be aware that settings like the clock or timer may be lost. Good multiple outlet strips have surge protection and some even have lightning protection. Look for the VDE and TÜV marks.

Disconnect chargers from the power supply: If mobile phones, electric toothbrushes or razors are not being charged, the charger should be disconnected from the power supply. The same applies to the external power supply units of laptops.

Test power consumption
: An ammeter allows you to test whether your electrical appliances are still using electricity after being switched off. This device is inserted between the socket and power supply unit and its display indicates how much electricity the appliance is using.

Ammeters can be borrowed free-of-charge as part of SWM’s energy advice scheme.


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