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Last Updated: Friday, 8 December 2006, 00:13 GMT
Teenagers are 'standby villains'
Teenager with MP3 player
Teenagers were urged to do more use energy wisely
Almost a third of all electricity used by teenagers in Scotland is wasted by gadgets left in standby mode, a study has shown.

Scottish Gas research revealed that the cost across the UK from devices such as computers, DVD players and stereos amounts to more than 100m.

The total energy consumption of all the gadgets was estimated to exceed the annual output of a nuclear reactor.

The study was based on 400 teenagers aged between 13 and 19.

In Scotland, teenagers use 9% of all wind power currently available in the UK and waste enough energy to power 4,702 schools.

One in every three pounds spent on domestic energy is wasted
Lois Hedg-Peth
Scottish Gas

Scottish gas said these figures could be reduced by a third if teens switched appliances off rather than leaving them on standby.

This would be the equivalent of planting six forests the size of Glasgow.

Ben Tuxworth, director of communications at Forum for the Future, said: "It's very worrying that energy is haemorrhaging out of the grid via teenagers' gadgets left on standby.

"Teenagers are clearly the new standby villains.

"We urgently need to accelerate energy efficiency standards for products and standby features would seem a good place to start."

Power drain

Small appliances such as MP3 players, games consoles and mobile phone chargers do not need much energy, yet due to their increasing proliferation in UK homes, they account for over three quarters of all domestic electricity used while in standby mode.

Desktop computers, computer monitors, televisions and their associated adaptors use the most power - together making up more than 75% of the total energy used by teenagers.

This is because they are in use for longer and draw more power when both on and in standby.

It was also warned that mobile phone chargers draw the same amount of electricity from the plug whether they are connected to a phone or not.

Lois Hedg-Peth, energy director for Scottish Gas, said: "Almost a third of all the electricity used by teenagers is wasted through leaving appliances on standby and, because of their low power consumption, these devices are often overlooked when households look for ways to save energy.

"One in every 3 spent on domestic energy is wasted and this research shows that everyone has a role to play in helping to reduce this figure."

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