Estimates of Global Standby Use

Nobody knows the magnitude of leaking electricity, but there are now a few estimates for different countries. Most researchers have focused on standby losses in homes, that is, the residential sector. The table below summarizes the estimates for residential standby losses in different regions. These numbers are typically based on just a few measurements so they could easily be 50% larger or smaller.

International Residential Standby Losses

  OECD United States Japan Germany France Netherlands Australia
Fraction of residential electricity use (%) 5-10% 5% 12% 10% 7% 10% 13%
Watts per home 50-100 50 60 44 38 37 60
National (TWh/year)   45   14      
Total CO2 emissions (MT/year)   27   7      

Source: Lebot, B., Meier, A., and Anglade, A. Global Implications of Standby Power Use. In the Proceedings of the 2000 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings, August 2000.

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