Customer Review

66 of 70 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't expect this to save you any money !, 13 Aug 2009
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This review is from: Bye Bye Standby Energy Saving Kit (DIY & Tools)
If you want to use this as a remote-controlled switch for a device that draws more than a few watts, then it's probably fine. As some have pointed out, there is no override at the socket to avoid finding the remote, but at least this one has separate buttons for "ON" and "OFF", unlike some other remotes which have only a toggle action.

But it's the implied claim that using this device will save energy compared to leaving a device on standby that is unsupportable. The claims about energy savings are even more specific at the manufacturer's website, but nowhere on that website could I find quoted the energy consumption of THIS device. I have similar devices from other manufacturers, and they typically run at about 0.6 Watt to 1 Watt, which is disappointing. Eventually I found the manufacturer's forum where someone had already asked this question, and the answer is 0.7 Watts, much as I expected.

Now the manufacturer's website (on the "Home Energy Wastage Calculator" page) claims a "typical modern TV set" draws 6.5 Watts in standby. Well I have a 19" Sharp (0.2 Watts in standby) and a 40" Toshiba (0.6W in Standby). Not much saving to be had there, I would use more energy (and lose much convenience) by adding one of these devices !

Their next example is set-top boxes, here 9.3 Watts is claimed as typical by the manufacturer of this device. I just measured two of mine, a very new Humax (0.5 Watts) and a not very new DGStation (3.0 Watts). Well I could perhaps save a bit by using this on the older box. But mostly it needs to be kept in standby to record programmes, so in fact the "Bye Bye Standby" is going to be worse than useless here, too.

Right the way down their list the inflated estimates of standby power continue. I didn't know that tumble driers featured a standby mode, but apparently 9 Watts is a typical draw for one of these, though (as an electrical engineer myself) I can't see why 9 Watts would be needed in such a device. But if your tumble dryer has a standby mode then presumably it needs to be left on to take advantage of cheaper electricity at night. Just turn it off at the wall when there are no clothes in it, surely that's even easier than finding the remote control !

Maybe if you have an old TV and can't be bothered to get up to switch it on at the wall, then this might be helpful. But always be aware that switching off at the wall is going to save more money again, and you are probably going to have to get out ot your seat to get the remote control anyway (you left it by the tumble drier, remember !).

To be honest, there's nothing actually wrong with the product, it's just the name of the product (and the ridiculous claims about the money it can save you) that are wrong.

If you want to impress folks by turning on the fountain in your garden pond from indoors (but it is powered from the garden shed) then this is exactly what you need. But please don't expect it to save you any money.

Here's the irony: it would actually be possible to design such a device (did I mention I am an electrical engineer ?) with an "off" power consumption well below 0.7 Watts. Sadly it would be more expensive to make, but at least it would stand some chance of saving money in the long run.
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 25 Aug 2009 07:06:02 BDT
Nicki says:
Very interesting.
However, it is a useful device for those of us who have plugs that we cannot reach at once set up unless you have a lot of time for serious furniture removal every time you want to switch on and off. But as far as energy saving goes I take your point it does not save much.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Oct 2009 16:27:34 BDT
B. Atkins says:
I agree with Molly. I plan to use this product on a 6-gang power strip for a 37" TV, 100W amplifier, HTPC, Lamp, Xbox which happens to be plugged into the wall in awkward position behind the TV. The fact that im more likely to turn all of these devices off with a remote is definately going to save me money regardless of the 0.7 watt usage. A 1 star review is a bit harsh in my book.

Posted on 8 Nov 2009 15:24:09 GMT
Admirable analysis. Thanks for going to the effort of posting it.

Posted on 28 Nov 2009 00:58:39 GMT
The only energy your saving is your own with this device. Nice idea though. Especially for the aged.

I am extremely concerned my the numerous cases of the devices packing in just after the warranty runs out.... a common ploy by companies to get your business again me thinks.

I'm avoid them due to the valid negative comments made from current owners.

Posted on 16 Sep 2010 19:09:36 BDT
P. G. Taylor says:
Clearly the way to save money using these devices is to have as many things plugged into a single device as possible. I've got a couple of extensions that take 8 plugs! I could turn off the following at one go .. two phone chargers, a battery charger, a computer, a monitor, printer, scanner, light, ... and the 4 other gadgets that did not fit into my 8 way extension!

That could well save 20w per extension ... 20w x 12h = 240w x360 = 86400 x 2 = 172800 = 172.8 kw *.011 = 19.008

It could be two or three times that amount - most of my stuff is rather old. I will have to measure how much my kit uses on standby. My electricity bill does seem to have grown alarmingly in the last 10 years. The trick to get people to look after their energy use is to make it really expensive ... the evidence is that people are prepared to pay so much before they can be bothered to do anything about it - I believe that the Greeks spend the same percentage of their income on heating their houses as the Finns - houses get better insulated as you travel north - mainly for financial reasons.

It cannot be long before we can plug a computer into our home wiring - or an iPhone - and tell every single last gadget to behave in a way that suits us.

I've got a feeling that science and technology is going to bring us a lot cheaper electricity than we have now - in the not too distant future - 50 years? - and it will be CO2 free. I'll be 107 then. I had better get on with reducing my carbon footprint NOW!

Posted on 16 Sep 2010 19:10:50 BDT
P. G. Taylor says:
Clearly the way to save money using these devices is to have as many things plugged into a single device as possible. I've got a couple of extensions that take 8 plugs! I could turn off the following at one go .. two phone chargers, a battery charger, a computer, a monitor, printer, scanner, light, ... and the 4 other gadgets that did not fit into my 8 way extension!

That could well save 20w per extension ... 20w x 12h = 240w x360 = 86400 x 2 = 172800 = 172.8 kw *.011 = 19.008

It could be two or three times that amount - most of my stuff is rather old. I will have to measure how much my kit uses on standby. My electricity bill does seem to have grown alarmingly in the last 10 years. The trick to get people to look after their energy use is to make it really expensive ... the evidence is that people are prepared to pay so much before they can be bothered to do anything about it - I believe that the Greeks spend the same percentage of their income on heating their houses as the Finns - houses get better insulated as you travel north - mainly for financial reasons.

It cannot be long before we can plug a computer into our home wiring - or an iPhone - and tell every single last gadget to behave in a way that suits us.

I've got a feeling that science and technology is going to bring us a lot cheaper electricity than we have now - in the not too distant future - 50 years? - and it will be CO2 free. I'll be 107 then. I had better get on with reducing my carbon footprint NOW!

Posted on 23 Sep 2012 00:44:07 BDT
Some of these units are rated at 1000W maximum draw. Don't plug your tumble dryer in to one unless it is the 3000W (3kW) version.
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