The Toronto Star had an interesting article on the standby power draw of consumer electronics and computers in today's newspaper. If you're concerned about increasing electricity costs, you'll want to read through this short article and employ some of the tips the author recommends like power bars to cut down phantom power loads.
"Standby power — also called phantom loads — exists in most electronic products these days. If it has LED lights or a digital clock, works with a remote control or soft-touch keypad, or has a quick-start mode, then chances are it's suckling power 24 hours a day, year round. Portable devices can also become phantom loads if they remain plugged into the wall after reaching full charge. A single product is unlikely to be noticed on your monthly hydro bill. But taken together, phantom loads can add up.
"The most important energy increase in a Canadian home now is standby power," says Anne Wilkins, who manages the Energy Star program through the office of energy efficiency at Natural Resources Canada. "What you need to look at is the total impact in your household.""
The BBC has a short article along the same lines which looks at the standby power draw from computer monitors that are left on in standby or screen saver mode at work.
"A CRT (cathode ray tube) monitor left on during the day and in standby mode during the night costs an equivalent in electricity over five years as a brand new flat screen monitor, it found. For example, a Taxan CRT monitor uses 135 Watts(W) when working and 4W in standby and will cost £150 in electricity over five years. Bad practice in UK offices means many employees do not bother turning their computer off at all when they leave in the evening. "If the screensaver is running then the monitor isn't in standby mode and it can be drawing over 100W," said PC Pro's deputy lab editor Nick Ross."
More tools and handy guidelines to reducing the power draw from your electronic devices and computer systems: