In 1998 they released an initial study which estimated that standby power accounted for approximately 5% of total residential electricity consumption in America, “adding up to more than $3 billion in annual energy costs”. According to America's Department of Energy, national residential electricity consumption in 2004 was 1.29 billion megawatt hours (MWh)—5% of which is 64m MWh. The wasted energy, in other words, is equivalent to the output of 18 typical power stations.
This figure, however, was based on estimates. So Dr Meier and his team went on to measure standby-power consumption directly, in an empirical study. Their results, published in 2000, revealed that standby power accounted for as much as 10% of household power-consumption in some cases. That same year, a similar study in France found that standby power accounted for 7% of total residential consumption. Further studies have since come to similar conclusions in other developed countries, including the Netherlands, Australia and Japan. Some estimates put the proportion of consumption due to standby power as high as 13%.