A Spanish firm named Good for You, Good for the Planet has developed a standby-mode killer that promises to detect when an appliance is in standby mode and automatically switch it off completely. The standby-kill chip features a microprocessor that cuts off power to the appliance automatically, and when the appliance is reactivated by pressing a button, it goes back into standby mode.
Jorge Juan García, a founder of Good for You, Good for the Planet, says they're in talks with electronics manufacturers about incorporating the chip directly into their new devices.
The standby power consumption of electronic devices is often underestimated but can cost you a lot of money, a recent study by the European Commission found that 10 percent of the total energy use in the EU is wasted in standby mode, this costs Europeans around 7 billion euros per year.
The standby-mode killer has yet to be proven commercially and must contend with other new products designed to tackle the same problem. But, despite some doubters, the Spanish inventors say theirs is the only product able to completely do away with a large, and growing, world-wide problem.
"We have a product on the table that will solve the standby problem definitively," says Jorge Juan García, a founder of Good for You, Good for the Planet, the Madrid-based company that invented the technology.
Created to help the world's couch potatoes turn the tube on and off without having to make the arduous 2-meter journey to the TV set, the standby feature has spread to virtually every appliance in the home and office. Microwave ovens, cellphone chargers, DVD players, computer monitors and printers all silently consume power when they aren't in use.