A Queensland electrician has invented a new standby power saving system designed to eliminate the modern scourge of ‘standby power wastage’.
 
This Australian innovation, Switchmate by Queensland electrician Daniel O’Dwyer eliminates power leakage when hardwired into new homes.
 
The average Australian home now runs an estimated 20 appliances that draw power 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, regardless of the appliance being switched on or not.
 
The Federal Government estimates standby power accounts for more than 10% of Australia’s household electricity usage, and recognises standby power consumption as an area where significant energy savings can be made.
 
Mr O’Dwyer explains that this power wastage began ever since manufacturers first developed instant-on televisions that started up without needing to warm up, leading to an explosion of devices that go into a standby mode including DVD players, stereos, Foxtel units, microwaves, PCs and air conditioners.
 
He observes that the only way to stop standby power leakage is to unplug everything or install standby power saving technology. Switchmate works by adding a second power cable to run parallel to the standard cable throughout homes during construction. While one cable supplies electricity for the appliances that need to stay on all the time such as the refrigerator, the other is for anything that can be removed from the power source. Both cables can run to every power point in the house.
 
A remote button shuts down the power to the second cable and any appliance connected to it, effectively eliminating any standby power wastage. Installing Switchmate only requires an extra power cable, an extra circuit breaker and a few hours of extra labour.
 
Installing the system enhances a home’s Green Star rating, and decreases the risk of appliances catching fire while in standby mode.
 
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