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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 July 2007, 12:33 GMT 13:33 UK
Climate cost of hi-tech Scots
Remote controls
Leaving equipment on standby wastes electricity
The hi-tech habits of Scots are hampering attempts to tackle climate change, according to a report.

Sales of power-hungry gadgets such as computers and set top boxes have soared in Scotland in recent years.

The Energy Saving Trust said people north of the border spent more time online than other parts of the UK, and about 16 hours a week watching TV.

Scots were also the worst offenders for leaving computers and other equipment on standby.

The Ampere Strikes Back report found Scots were largely ignorant about the impact of new technology on the environment.

The study said many modern gadgets use more electricity than older equipment, but 59% of Scots automatically assumed they were more efficient.

About a third admitted leaving televisions and computers on standby for more than three hours.

93% of Scottish homes have a PC or laptop
Scots spend an average of 23 hours a week online
35% of Scots leave their computer on standby for more than three hours a day
61% of Scottish homes have a set top box
44% of Scots leave their set top box on standby for more than three hours
32% of Scots leave their TV on standby for more than three hours

The study also warned home entertainment systems and computers would use 45% of domestic electricity by 2020, needing the equivalent of 14 new power stations.

The head of the Energy Saving Trust in Scotland said many Scots would be surprised at the amount of power used by new appliances.

Mike Thornton said: "With trends such as listening to the radio through TV and PC on the increase, it's highly unlikely that consumers realise that this uses far more energy than conventional means, while a new flat panel TV can use up to three times more electricity than a 'traditional' TV."

The report called for governments, manufacturers and retailers to do more to promote energy efficient devices, but also said consumers had a role to play.

Mr Thornton said: "Think about how you are using appliances and turn equipment off when not needed, don't just leave it on standby. The average household could save 37 a year through avoided standby use alone."

Gadgets 'threaten energy savings'
04 Jul 07 |  Science/Nature
Teenagers are 'standby villains'
08 Dec 06 |  Scotland
Saving energy on the home front
23 Oct 06 |  Science/Nature
TV 'sleep' button stands accused
22 Jan 06 |  Science/Nature

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