ENERGY STAR reduces the amount of energy consumed by a product by either automatically switching it into a 'sleep' mode when it's not being used and/or reducing the amount power used when in 'standby' mode.
While most office equipment now has the potential to save energy in this way, not all machines, particularly PCs, have actually been enabled so that the energy saving features are activated.
ENERGY STAR compliant home electronics products have their energy saving features already activated when you buy them. ENERGY STAR standard rated appliances will consume around 75% less energy in standby mode than standard products do. However, please remember:
Leaving appliances on Stand-by still wastes energy and your money
Stand-by power is wasted energy - it is the electricity consumed by appliances when they are switched off or not performing their primary function. It is sometimes referred to as leaking, vampire or phantom electricity.
The best way to make sure a product / appliance is not consuming electricity when idle is to switch it off at the power point. Not only will this save you money; it can also reduce the risk of accidental fire.
Stand-by power is estimated to be costing business and consumers around 10% of the total appliances energy costs annually.
Most of the energy used by products on standby is not performing any useful function. A small amount can be needed for maintaining memory or an internal clock, remote control activation or other features. But most standby power is wasted energy. ENERGY STAR enabled products minimise this waste.