In recent years, manufacturers have become more aware of the need to minimize standby losses in appliances they design and manufacture. Much of the progress here has been spurred by federal efforts—including the well-known Energy Star program—that are setting guidelines to push manufacturers to design more efficient appliances with low standby losses.
Forward-thinking appliance manufacturers are using four major design approaches to reduce standby losses:
- Improved designs for more efficient transformers
- Moving the power switch to the input side of the power supply, to completely power it down when it’s not in use
- Advanced designs that limit the number of electronic components required for standby service
- Intelligent charging circuits in products with rechargeable batteries
As electricity prices continue to escalate, and energy consumers continue to become more aware of the impact inefficient appliances have on both their pocketbooks and the environment, appliance and electronics manufacturers will continue to refine their product designs with energy use in mind. The TV set that had 30 W of standby loss several years ago likely has less than 10 W today. Thanks to programs like Energy Star, appliance design is headed in the right direction, and appliances are getting more efficient all the time.