With the sharp rise in fuel and energy costs, a lot of us have been feeling the pinch over recent months.

After seeing our recent energy bill, I’ve quickly become more conscious about leaving lights on unnecessarily, and have since modified the heat settings, so that we’re using less energy in the daytime.

The slogan every little helps by the well-known retailer is very apt, and there’s no harm in switching off devices that we tend to leave on standby. Or is there…

Most of us don’t give a moment’s thought about leaving the TV, printer, and satellite box on standby overnight.

But what are the average costs, and which devices should you NOT switch off…

In a recent Which? survey, the savings are quite small for a device that’s left on standby for 20 hours per day (or 6,750 hours per year), compared to its powered-on cost for 4 hours a day.

A TV for example, would have an annual cost of £0.65p on standby, and £51.33 switched on.

A DAB radio would cost £1.86 on standby, and £2.94 switched on.

Unlike the old days, when you charged a mobile phone once every week, today’s coloured screen Smartphones need to be charged every day. But surprisingly, the cost is tiny. Charging it every night will cost you as little as £1.74 per year.

But there are two devices in particular, that you should leave on…


With no one using it overnight, you might think this would be an obvious choice to switch off. But, to your Internet Service Provider (ISP), the eight-hour drop could look like an unstable connection, and can lead to your speed being throttled.

So my advice would be to leave your router on at all times.


When your printer goes to standby, it periodically cleans the heads. But this wouldn’t be possible if you switched it off. And without this regular clean, the heads could get clogged up and the ink would need replacing more often.

On the plus side, printers use up very little energy, compared to your fridge or washing machine.


I’ve added this to the list, but it’s not a must in my view. I’m stating the obvious here, but if you do switch off your Sky or Virgin box for example, it wouldn’t be able to record a programme that’s scheduled for the time that it’s off.

Secondly, these boxes check for firmware and app updates on a daily basis, which helps to keep your box in tip-top working order.

As I said, the latter’s not a must, but more of a personal preference.