Sky Plus energy usage question

in TV MoneySaving
10 replies 12.3K views
jgallcashjgallcash Forumite
634 Posts
Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
✭✭
Very simple really.

We are constantly reminded that leaving electrical items on standby uses a lot of energy and costs us lots of money and damages the environment etc etc...

on the telephone to a Sky engineer lst night who suggested that i leave sky on stand by when i go to bed instead of switching off at the socket.

Have the sky plus boxes been specifically designed to use minimal power on standby?

Will leaving it on standby use a lot of energy and cost a lot in electricity?

Replies

  • Marty_JMarty_J Forumite
    6.6K Posts
    It probably doesn't use very much, though there are millions of them, so it all adds up to a lot of wasted electricity.
  • geewhizgeewhiz Forumite
    1.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭
    Taken from MySky

    How much electricity does my Sky system use?
    Experts estimate that set top boxes account for about 1.5% of home electricity use. It's a good idea to leave your system on standby when you're not using it, as it will use less electricity in this mode.

    We're continuously developing new technologies to reduce the power required by our products. Electricity consumption of our set top boxes has been halved since we launched them. Sky is the only media company to have signed up to the voluntary EU Code on Energy Efficiency in Digital TV Service Systems and all our products are below the emissions levels it recommends.
  • silvercarsilvercar Forumite, Board Guide
    42.9K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    They automatically turn to stand by mode if you leave them on overnight nowadays, so I guess they have an energy saving mode.

    Don't know if you would shorten their lifespan if you switched them off at the mains - that will cause a reboot whenever you switch on.
    Usually found at a vaccine centre 💉
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debate House Prices & the Economy, House Buying, Renting & Selling, Mortgages and Endowments, In My Home incl DIY, Overseas Holidays & Student boards.
    I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly.
    Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an abusive or illegal post then please report it to [email protected]. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com.
  • Marty_JMarty_J Forumite
    6.6K Posts
    We switch both of ours off at night. Once Sky start paying for 3% of our electricity costs, then we'll start leaving them on.
  • edited 16 April 2009 at 2:40PM
    Tim_UUTim_UU Forumite
    7 Posts
    edited 16 April 2009 at 2:40PM
    This is a common question for all sorts of modern electrical items.

    There are pros and cons of each.

    1/ Electronics 'prefer' to be at a constant temperature. If they go cold, hot, cold every day you can get problems.

    2/ If it is left switched on all the time, you will be vulnerable to voltage spikes (unless you use a surge protector) which can kill more modern power supply circuits.

    3/ Sky boxes etc receive firmware upgrades at certain times.

    If you were renting / leasing the box it would be best to switch it on /off because it wouldn't be your problem when it packed up. If there's a chance that you are going to have to pay Sky to come and fix / replace it, it would have to have saved a lot of electricity to be worth it! (I have a similar argument about modern overly complicated and often unreliable boilers)

    I think the newer boxes might be slightly more efficient.

    If the box is cold, it can't be using any power, if it's warm or even hot, then all this heat has come from your electricity. The label on the bottom of the Sky box shows the max power which I think is about 30W - hopefully it's using a lot less power than this most of the time - but Sky don't seem to be very good at specifics, they seem to put all their effort into marketing!

    Another top tip: Leave plenty of air space around your Sky box - DO NOT COVER
    ANY VENT HOLES and don't sit it directly onto carpet. If it stays cooler, it will prolong the life of the box.
  • allroundgoodguyallroundgoodguy Forumite
    13 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    MoneySaving Newbie
    silvercar wrote: »
    They automatically turn to stand by mode if you leave them on overnight nowadays, so I guess they have an energy saving mode.

    Don't know if you would shorten their lifespan if you switched them off at the mains - that will cause a reboot whenever you switch on.

    This actually is optional. You can stop it (or start it) going into Autostandby.
    We found it very annoying as the plug is quite far behind our equipment.

    On your handset go into Services then Option 5
  • silvercar wrote: »
    They automatically turn to stand by mode if you leave them on overnight nowadays, so I guess they have an energy saving mode.

    Don't know if you would shorten their lifespan if you switched them off at the mains - that will cause a reboot whenever you switch on.

    Turn it of at mains. Not a good idea as the harddrive within the unit it put in park mode that way. Also you do not know if recoding anything with pointless Anytime service on Sky+ or Sky HD box's.
  • dougz_2dougz_2 Forumite
    523 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    ✭✭
    Have the sky plus boxes been specifically designed to use minimal power on standby?

    No. Sky make up some phoney good PR about their standby function, but the fact is, unlike most other entertainment devices such as DVDs, TVs etc, every type of sky box has always been designed to remain continuously active in the background, and thus using a significant amount of electrical power even when pretending to be in 'standby'. It also continuously powers up the LNBs on your dish outside, which is a pure waste of energy as that doesn't even warm your house as a side effect.

    Will leaving it on standby use a lot of energy and cost a lot in electricity?


    Yes. It will still be using something like 20W in sky fake 'standby' mode, which for comparison is around 20 times that of a typical TV which has a genuine standby mode.
  • adprobadprob Forumite
    137 Posts
    Only problem with turning the sky boxes off are that you will miss any updates to the boxes, which can led to future issues, and if you use box office and switch the box off at night when they dial in to check purchases you dont get billed until you leave the box on and they pick up your purchase. been there happened to me!
  • bunking_offbunking_off Forumite
    1.3K Posts
    Also, if you've got multi-room it means the box may not be powered up when Sky ping it to check it's at same house, hence triggering a warning letter from Sky (I'm not sure if that's initiated by the box or remotely...think the latter).

    Our Sky+ box also tends to do drive maintenance overnight (not Anytime downloads...have disabled that, I mean disk defragmentation etc), generally at 4am. Although they may be using material amounts of power when on standby, for Sky+ it's definitely far less than in active mode, because (other than the burst of activity for maintenance) the hard drive's powered down.

    My maths may be out, but if you unplug for say 10hrs a night, on dougz's figures that's 0.2KWH/day, or £6-7 / year. Is it really worth it?
    I really must stop loafing and get back to work...
This discussion has been closed.
Latest MSE News and Guides

Bacon flavoured toothpaste

Can you help this Forumite track some down?

Join the Forum discussion

£10 Christmas bonus

For benefits recipients

MSE News