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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A worldwide review of standby power use in homes


Standby power use is the electricity consumed by appliances when they are switched off or not performing their primary purpose. Results from 21 separate field studies of residential standby power use and eight bottom-up national estimates of standby power use in 17 countries were compiled. Average standby power use in the field measurements ranges from about 30 W in China to over 100 W in New Zealand and the United States. The weighted average of the measurements was about 50 W. The bottom-up estimates found that standby power was responsible for 3-12 percent of residential electricity use. There is insufficient information to determine if standby power use is increasing or declining.

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