If you have noticed your energy bills are high, you could be forgiven for thinking you have an employee you don’t know about. And you may be right… sort of.

Phantom power, or standby power, refers to the energy consumed by your devices when they are switched into standby mode at night and over the weekend.  

At Next Business Energy, we understand the importance of managing energy costs for small businesses. Every dollar saved on electricity bills contributes to the bottom line and your sustainability efforts. Even small amounts of standby power consumption can add up quickly on electricity bills, and leaving appliances on standby mode is one often overlooked culprit of wasted energy. Let’s explore how much standby power consumption can impact your power bill and what you might do to minimise this.

Understanding Standby Power Consumption

Standby power refers to the energy consumed by electronic devices when they are plugged in but not being used. Whilst it may seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things, the consumption and cost of standby power can add up over time, particularly across multiple devices. 

Computers, printers, monitors, copiers, chargers, and kitchen appliances like microwaves and coffee makers are all common consumers of standby power. These devices continue to drain power to maintain settings, clocks, or to be ready for immediate use, contributing to unnecessary energy waste. Your smartphone charger draws energy even when your device is not connected. 

In particular, Australia’s hot climate demands heavy reliance on air conditioning systems, a notorious consumer of standby power, especially for businesses in sectors such as hospitality, retail, and office environments where air conditioning is considered essential. 

The Cost of Standby Power

The exact cost of your standby power consumption depends on the number and types of devices your business uses and your electricity rates. Studies have shown that standby power can account for up to 10% of a business’s electricity bill. For any business, this can be a significant amount and seriously impact profitability.

Tips to Reduce Standby Power Consumption

Reducing your standby power consumption may result in significant savings for your bottom line. Here are simple steps you might take to minimise standby power consumption and lower your electricity bills:

  • Unplug Devices: Unplug electronic devices from the power outlet when they are not in use for an extended period to completely cut off standby power consumption. This is especially effective for devices that are used infrequently or only during weekends and holidays.
  • Use Power Strips: Plug multiple devices into power strips with on/off switches. When you’re done using the devices, simply switch off the power strip to cut off electricity flow to all connected devices simultaneously. This way, you may prevent multiple sources of energy wastage with just one click.
  • Invest in Timers: Use timers to turn on and off Power strips when you are not in the office or shop.
  • Invest in Energy-Efficient Devices: When it’s time for your business to purchase new appliances and electronics, look for energy-efficient models that are designed to consume less energy, even in standby mode.
  • Enable Power Management Features: Configure computers, monitors, and other electronic devices to enter low-power or sleep modes when not in use. You should also adjust settings to ensure that screens turn off after a specified period of inactivity.
  • Educate Employees: Raise awareness among your staff about the potential impact of standby power consumption and the importance of reducing it as far as possible. Things like encouraging them to turn off devices at the end of the day and making use of energy-saving features whenever possible may add up to produce significant energy and cost savings for your business.

Take Control of Your Phantom Employees

By using various proactive measures to minimise your standby power consumption, your small business can reduce electricity bills and contribute to energy conservation efforts. At Next Business Energy, we’re committed to helping our customers achieve greater energy efficiency and cost savings. Contact us today by filling out our enquiry form to learn more about our energy-saving solutions.