Berkeley Lab


A surprisingly large number of electrical products—TVs to microwave ovens to air conditioners—cannot be switched off completely without being unplugged. These products draw power 24 hours a day, often without the knowledge of the consumer. We call this power consumption "standby power."

An individual product draws relatively little standby power (Standby Power Summary Table) but a typical American home has forty products constantly drawing power. Together these amount to almost 10% of residential electricity use.

This website presents information on standby power and technologies to reduce it. We welcome your comments and contributions.


Suggestions and contact: Alan Meier at