Frequently Asked Questions

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Q. What is Bye Bye Standby®?House with pound signs

A: Bye Bye Standby® is an energy-saving solution designed to reduce the daily energy consumption of electrical devices. Bye Bye Standby® works by completely cutting power to devices when they are not in use, thus saving the power that these appliances would otherwise have consumed in standby mode. Bye Bye Standby® is an effective way to save energy, carbon emissions and money.

Q: How does Bye Bye Standby® work?

A: Bye Bye Standby® (BBSB) is a device that connects between the wall socket and an appliance which consumes electrical energy unnecessarily. This could be a piece of equipment with a standby mode, such as a TV, or a device which is always on when it could be off, such as a printer or wireless router. The BBSB system allows the user to have easy control over all these types of appliances.

When these appliances are not needed, such as when the owner is out or asleep, a single button can be pressed which physically disconnects the wasteful appliance so that it no longer consumes energy. Pressing the button again reconnects all the appliances.

Q: Are Bye Bye Standby® sockets available for use in other countries?

A: Yes, as well as UK sockets, we also now manufacture smart sockets and powerdown strips that are suitable for use in Europe, North America & Australia/New Zealand. Please contact us on +44 (0)844 875 1600 if you would like more information about stockists, or click the following links for UK stockists or for US products.

Q: Are the new 2011 Bye Bye Standby® Energy Saving Sockets compatible with existing products in the range?

A: Yes, the new Bye Bye Standby® sockets can be programmed to work with all the existing controllers, such as the Bye Bye Standby® wall-mounted switch, motion sensor or remote controls, as well as with the Online Controller. Unfortunately, the new remote control cannot be used to operate previous editions of Bye Bye Standby® sockets.

Please click here for more information and to download some easy-to-follow guides that explain how to use the new 2011 Bye Bye Standby® sockets with the Classic Bye Bye Standby® range.

Q: What is standby mode?Bye Bye Standby Wall Switch in use

A: Standby mode is a term that usually refers to the power consumption when an electrical device is not active and producing output but is instantly available to do so.

Q: What is standby power?

A: Standby power is the power consumed not while the appliance is being fully utilised, but while it awaits instruction - while it is "standing by". In many cases, standby power serves no useful function.

Q: What effect does the excessive use of standby have on the environment?

A: Appliances such as TVs, computers and hi-fi’s left on standby waste more than £740 million worth of energy a year and cause more than four million tonnes of extra carbon emissions, adding to the problem of climate change. A survey by the Energy Saving Trust found that the average household has up to 12 gadgets left on standby or charging at any one time, and that more than £740m of electricity is being wasted by things being left ticking over.**

Q: How much energy does the average household waste by leaving appliances on standby?

A: UK households spend £1.9 billion every year on electricity used by consumer electronic products and 10% of this electricity bill can be attributed to standby power. The average household wastes £37 each year by leaving appliances on standby. Across the UK this is equivalent to the annual output of about 2½ 700MW power stations.*

Estimated annual CO2 emissions from device left on standby (source: Energy Saving Trust)
1,600,000 tonnes
960,000 tonnes
480,000 tonnes
390,000 tonnes
DVD players
100,000 tonnes
Set-top boxes
60,000 tonnes

Q: What benefits can be gained by using Bye Bye Standby®?

Q: Where can I use Bye Bye Standby®?

Bye Bye Standby® can be used in both a home or office environment, with any of the following: television, DVD player, set-top box, MP3 player, VCR player, stereo, printer, lights, games console, computer, monitor, phone charger, scanner, fax machine & much more...

Q: In which circumstances should I NOT use Bye Bye Standby®?

A: Bye Bye Standby® should only be used inside and only in dry spaces. It should not be exposed to rain or humidity. It is important not to overload any Bye Bye Standby® socket (check the rating of equipment before using with Bye Bye Standby®), and children should only use the device under adult supervision.

Q: What would happen if I overloaded the Bye Bye Standby® Socket?

A: For safety purposes we recommend you do not overload the socket. Internal product testing experienced no adverse effects when overloaded, but overloading a socket could potentially lead to fire hazard and product failure.

Q: Is it true that leaving electrical appliances such as TVs, CD players, monitors, etc, on standby uses very little energy and means the warm-up time is reduced?

A: No. In general, appliances such as TVs and CD players use more electricity in standby mode than owners realise. TVs on standby generally use 3-7W compared with around 140W when switched on. However, when applied to the whole of the UK, standby energy consumption represents 15% of total TV energy use.*

Q: How much carbon dioxide is produced by leaving a TV on standby?

A: According to the Market Transformation Programme, the main television of a household is watched for 6.5 hours per day on average. Assuming that it is left on standby for the remaining 17.5 hours and uses typically between 3 and 7 Watts(W) per hour(h), this will result in:

Energy Consumption
The best case scenario: 3W x 17.5h = 52.5Wh/1000 = 0.0525kWh per day
The worst case scenario: 7W x 17.5h = 122.5Wh/1000 = 0.1225kWh per day
The best case scenario: 0.0525kWh x 365 days = 19.2kWh/year
The worst case scenario: 0.1225kWh x 365 days = 44.7kWh/year

Carbon Dioxide Emissions
Using the conversion factor of 0.43 kilograms of carbon dioxide per kWh, a television left on "standby" for 17.5 hours every day over one year will result in the generation of between 8.3 (3W standby consumption) and 19.2 (7W standby consumption) kilograms of carbon dioxide.*

Q: Do you have any figures relating to savings that can be made by turning off a computer rather than leaving it on standby?

A: According to the Carbon Trust, a typical PC (including monitor) left on for 24 hours each day can use £45 or more of energy per year. Turned off at night and weekends and by adopting energy management techniques, the same units will only use around £10 of energy per year.*

Q: How much energy can be saved by switching off appliances rather than leaving them on standby?

A: In standby mode, some appliances can still use as much as 25% of the energy they do when they are switched on. Switching all appliances off when not in use can save you £37 a year and help reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Research by the government-backed Energy-Saving Trust shows 62 million television sets used 8% of their total average daily energy consumption while they were in standby mode. The average television set is left on standby for more than 17 hours a day while most set-top boxes and video recorders are never turned off.

Q: Which appliances are the main standby offenders?

  • Dishwashers left "on" at the end of their cycle consume 70% of the power used when they are running.
  • The average television is left on standby for up to 17.5 hours a day. Last year Britain's 62 million television sets consumed about 8% of their energy consumption in standby mode.
  • Washing machines use just under 20% of their normal electricity requirement on standby.
  • Tumble-dryers can use 38% of power while waiting at the end of a cycle.
  • If lights were turned off when not in use, it would prevent 375,000 tons of CO2 emissions and save £55m in bills.
  • There is little difference between the power requirement of digital receivers when they are on and on standby.
  • Experts say the total power used while an appliance is on standby can equal the electricity used during the limited time it is in use.
  • Other appliances with high standby power use are cordless telephones, radios and stereos.*
Typical Standby Power (W) - source: Independent Energy Saving Report***
Phone Charger
PC Speakers

Q: There is a little light on the BBS socket even when the appliances are fully switched off. Does this energy consumption not eradicate any benefit of using Bye Bye Standby?

A: No, there is negligible energy draw on the Bye Bye Standby® socket. However, as the Bye Bye Standby® socket does consume a minimal amount of energy continuously, it is recommended that it be used in conjunction with a 4-way extension plug to control up to 4 appliances. Bearing in mind that 71% of the UK population leave appliances in standby mode anyway*, Bye Bye Standby® is likely to have a positive effect in reducing carbon emissions. The standby power consumption of our products is the lowest in the market so far.

Q: What is the lifespan of a Bye Bye Standby® remote control, and how frequently do I need to change the battery?

A: The Bye Bye Standby® remote is a robust controller. Each press takes 2 seconds and in total it can be pressed approximately 60,000 - 70,000 times before needing to change the battery.

Q: What’s the difference between Bye Bye Standby® and just switching appliances off at the mains?

A: There is no difference, but evidence from a number of official sources proves that people do not switch appliances off at the mains. This may be because they forget or cannot be bothered to go round and switch everything off late at night or before they leave the house. Bye Bye Standby® provides a convenient solution which enables people to turn off a number of devices at the touch of a button which is easily accessible. Bye Bye Standby® is also helpful to older people or people with disabilities who find it difficult to bend down to electrical sockets.

Q: Is it dangerous to have a 4-way plug adapter connected to a Bye Bye Standby® socket?

A: No. Bye Bye Standby® fully cuts power to devices, so it actually reduces the risk of fire over leaving any appliance in standby mode. Bye Bye Standby® can be plugged into a 4-way socket, or plugged directly into a wall socket. Using a BBS socket with a 4-way adaptor poses no further risk than the 4-way adaptor in its common everyday usage.

Q: How can you prove that it saves the average household £38 per year off their electricity bill?

Independent research*** by a leading university has estimated the potential savings that can be gained by using the Bye Bye Standby® devices. Three different types of households were analysed, each with their own cluster of appliances and operating pattern. Standby power consumption of the appliances was gathered both from literature and from measurements. This then enabled a calculation of what the potential energy savings could be.

For a single-person household, using two BBS devices, savings of around £40 per annum were identified. For the household of a retired couple, using two BBS devices, a saving of about £25 per annum was identified. For a family of four, using three BBS devices, savings of around £40 were identified.

If there was a complete penetration into the UK, then a savings in energy of around 8.4 TWh (which is about half the potential output power of a coal-fired power station such as Didcot A) could be achieved.

Q: Are the radio frequency waves that the Bye Bye Standby® system works on harmful or a danger to young children?

No, the radio frequency waves produced from Bye Bye Standby® pose no more danger than any other household remote control that would typically be found in the home such as a TV, DVD, VCR or HiFi remote.


* Source: Energy Saving Trust data
** Source: DEFRA
*** Source: Independent Energy Saving Report (for further details, please call 01908 357707)