Switch off when not in use!

Published: 20th September 2012 11:05 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th September 2012 11:15 AM   |  A+A-


Tick if you do any of the following

I leave my computer or laptop at home or school turned on for hours, even when I am not working on it

I do not unplug the charger from the socket once my mobile, laptop or any other equipment has finished charging

I leave the TV on all the time, even when no one is watching it

How many ticks do you have?

You can also tick if it is someone else you have seen at home or school, who has a habit of leaving things on all the time!

Many people think that there is no electricity wastage when they are not actively using equipment. However, a small amount of power is required to maintain the equipment in the on-mode, popularly known as ‘vampire power’. The name came about mainly because the equipment sucks this power from the source to maintain its state! Laptops or desktops which are on all the time consume a certain amount of power. A mobile charger left plugged in a socket with the switch on, even when there is no mobile connected to it, consumes power. Similarly, TVs which are only switched off with the remote, but left on otherwise, consume power.

Individually they may not make too much of a difference in your monthly electricity bill, but combined together they can definitely add a noticeable sum to the amount. Moreover, imagine if everyone thinks that it is ok to ignore this small amount, for the sake of convenience.

A convenience in other words is called laziness or simply being too busy to take care of material things! It may seem trivial, but considering that most households have TVs, computers and mobiles, imagine the amount of electricity that must be getting wasted every minute!

The bulky old TV sets would have consumed a lot of power. Comparatively, the new generation TVs like LCDs are much more energy efficient. However if left on, they consume power, especially if there are set-top boxes, DVD players or any other equipment attached to them. Also, the bigger the screen the more power it consumes.

Researchers tracked this wastage and found that all electronic appliances consume power, in an idle state or even when fully charged.

Laptops consume much less power for their operations than desktops. Both of them come with ‘Sleep’ or ‘Standby’ options, which are power-saving features. They are good options if you are going to return to them in a couple of hours.

For anything over that, it is better to turn off, or switch to the ‘Hibernate’ mode.

However, what is most interesting is that an empty charger plugged in, also draws power, though it may seem otherwise. One way to know if it is drawing power is to check its temperature — it may be slightly higher than when it is tucked away.

So now we know what we need to do when we are using any electronic equipment or appliance — switch it off and unplug from the socket after use. Each unit saved, can make a difference to our environment!

(Sindhu Ramachandran is a documentary filmmaker and a creative writer who contributes to


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