Tuesday, 2 October 2012


There was a ring of the front doorbell and a polite girl offered us a "power saving" deal as a result of a "government initiative".   Normally a line like this leads me to jump to the conclusion that this is a scam, but unusually for me, I actually gave her a hearing.  The fact that she didn't come from the sub-continent may have helped.

The deal is that she plugs a  device in to the power point leading to your TV (called a Standby Power Controller, or SPC) so that the stand-by power is turned off when the TV isn't in use.

The device is activated by using the TV remote, and turns the power to the TV off after a designated time (this can be altered, in our case it's 2 hours).  

The installers work for "Green Made Easy" (see http://www.greenmadeeasy.com.au/), who, in return for supplying the SPC (at no cost to us),  take an assignment of the right to the Victorian Energy Efficiency Certificate(s?) (VEEC) that this installation creates.

The black object detects the remote, and can be re-located
I checked the internet, and a VEEC is currently worth just over $20.   Frankly, I can't see how the economics stack up, unless someone, somewhere assumes that our TV uses a lot more standby power than our electricity bill suggests.  I don't think it (even when combined with the DVD player) uses anything like $140 worth per year (as stated on the packaging).   

Nevertheless, we're saving a little power  without turning the switch off at the wall (which of course we never did!)  We're adjusting to the idea that you have to press the remote twice to turn the TV on and then press any button on the remote (channel change, volume, whatever) once every 2 hours to re-set the timer.


  1. Perhaps I had better stop hanging up on those people from the sub-continent who keep phoning to tell me about "a government initiative to save power".

  2. Yes but how do you turn the power back on? I have so far refused this device for my TV and for my computer because the relevant power points are hard to get at. In the case of the TV I would need to call removalists. Meanwhile have you heard of the free chimney insulation balloons under the same energy saving deal? We are definitely considering these, since we have no plans to regularly switch our chimneys on and off...

  3. According to the Whirlpool forum http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/1802229 the Standby Power Controller uses more electricity than your TV on standby. So much for power savings!

  4. Re comment #2 - the power is switched back on when you activate the TV remote. The little black box detects any activity by the remote. However, to turn the TV on you sometimes need to press the remote twice - once to turn the power back on to the TV so that it can detect the remote, then again to actually turn the TV on.
    Re chimney balloons - hadn't heard of these, but I suppose I can see the point. Will the next thing to attract a VEET (or whatever) be door closers at Bunnings?
    Re comment #3 - interesting (but long!) thread on Whirlpool, and a variety of views. I guess it all depends on how much power the TV uses on stand-by (my impression is that this may vary depending on the type of TV). For the record, the installer didn't take a photo of the installation (mentioned in some of the earlier Whirlpool comments), but there was a follow-up email (with a copy of the documentation) and phone call (to check that it was still plugged in). For the time being, we'll give it the benefit of the doubt, and stick with it.