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4E Standby Power Annex

Standby power is the term commonly used to describe the low power mode(s) which many electrical and electronic products use when not performing their "usual" operation but when still connected to a power supply. The consumption of small amounts of power in this mode has becoming ubiquitous in appliances and equipment as electronic controls become standard and, in most countries, there is evidence that energy consumption by products in standby mode is increasing in some product types.

Since the issue became apparent more than a decade ago, the subject has attracted significant attention and as a result, policies have been developed in a number of markets to tackle excessive standby. However, the understanding of trends in standby power at an individual product level as well as the overall energy consumption trend remains poor. This lack of information is hampering effective policy development to address the issue.

Thus, despite commendable efforts, there are some limitations in the current policy approaches in terms of ensuring that excessive standby power is adequately tackled into the future for all future product types and their associated functions. These limitations are generally understood and acknowledged, and as a response, various countries are conducting studies to examine specific aspects of standby and issues such as networked products. The Standby Power Annex, using current work as a foundation, will further develop an understanding of the technical and policy issues and in doing so, provide a vehicle through which better global policy outcomes for standby can be developed.

The overall goal of the Standby Power Annex

To monitor and report the extent of, and changes in, energy consumption by electrical appliances in low-power modes (standby power); and support the development of policies which seek to minimise excessive energy consumption by products in standby power modes.

Standby Power Annex key deliverables 

  1. The development of methodologies to assist in the collection and analysis of standby power data from existing and new products in order to facilitate international comparisons.
  2. Compilation of measured data on standby power consumption for products from agreed sources across participating economies. Selected benchmarking of countries will enable:
    • Tracking of the current and future consumption by products when in standby, and the aggregate associated current and projected consumption at the national/international level;

    • Tracking of the impact of policy actions on standby within the marketplace.

  3. Development of practical policy approaches that may enable effective management of standby power in globally and locally traded products.

Standby Power Annex

4E Standby Power

Operating Agent

Melissa Damnics
Maia Consulting
24 Princess Street
VIC 3011

+61 3 9689 7195

4E Leading Representative


Shane Holt
Appliance Energy Efficiency Team
Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency
PO Box 787

+61 2 6274 1825