Unfair to teenagers?

This news item from the BBC’s a bit rough on teenagers, and I suspect a little unfair to say the least.

I know plenty of old wrinklies that are just as happy to sit on their backsides, leave all their gear plugged in, switched on, and sitting on Standby until it’s time to use them again, while they (the gadgets) gently heat up their surroundings, waste energy, and hit their pensions.

A few years ago, I had a serious look at all the junk left plugged in and largely unused, or seldom used. Ignoring the detail, the bottom line was that one year late, an envelope arrived from the electricity provider, and inside was a refund cheque, confirming that I was, and continue to be, £50 or more better off every year. For no more effort than flicking an Off switch, rather hitting a Standby button.

I think that’s a pretty good deal – I used to get a full tank of petrol for that.

It’s so good an idea I know someone has managed to start an international business based on the same idea. Plug your TV, video/DVD or whatever into their little black box, and when you hit the Standby button for the TV (the other devices aren’t usually much use when it’s off) and it detects this and fully disconnects all the attached devices from the mains, so they can’t draw any power. Hit the Power button, the little black box detect this command, and powers up all the attached devices.

I should add that the big switch off doesn’t necessarily always save that much, especially with the most modern of devices which, unlike their predecessors of a few years ago, do go into truly low power mode when switched to Standby. Older gear was a bit of a con, and rather than going into a proper Standby, just turned of the lights!

Sorry, if you’re interested in the little black box, it is a commercial product, made in Germany, but I’ve no idea of the name or manufacturer.


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