In Switzerland alone, over three million modems and over two million set-top boxes for digital television are now installed. These consume a total of around 500 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity annually. More than a third, around 180 gigawatt hours – which corresponds to the average power consumption of around 40,000 households – could be saved if the devices were set to the best possible energy-saving mode.
The Swiss Federal Office of Energy and the three providers Sunrise, Swisscom and upc cablecom want to inform users of modems, routers and set-top boxes about which settings can be made on the individual devices so that they consume less electricity. Under the umbrella of the information campaign of the SwissEnergy programme, Sunrise, Swisscom and upc cablecom are conducting their own campaigns tailored to their customers.
Electricity only when it is really needed
The devices can be set in such a way that they only consume electricity when they are actually needed. For example, the TV box from Sunrise consumes less than 1 watt in energy-saving mode, instead of 11 watts in normal standby mode or 14 watts in operating mode. For many devices, the vendors provide detailed instructions on how to set the energy saving mode on the devices that they make available to their customers.
If you are going to be away for a longer period of time, you should switch off devices such as the TV set-top box, the modem and the (WLAN) router completely. However, this also applies to other devices that are not needed during this time and that do not have to be permanently supplied with electricity. Switchable power strips are very helpful for this. But it makes sense to check beforehand how the devices behave if they are completely disconnected from the mains. With some devices you may have to make all the settings again.
It is generally helpful to measure the power consumption of these devices so that you can see what influence these devices have on power consumption.