Information, communication and entertainment appliance use - insights from a UK household study

Electricity consumption data for information, communication and entertainment (ICE) appliances (consumer electronics and ICT equipment) were collected from a sample of fourteen UK households to identify patterns of appliance use. Follow-up interviews were also undertaken to explore factors that influenced the electricity consumption recorded. Results support the current consensus that ICE appliance use can be a significant electricity end-use in UK homes, often from standby loads. On average, around 23% of the households’ electricity consumption was from ICE appliance use and around 7% could be attributed to standby power modes. Key appliances that contributed to the sample's average electricity consumption are identified. Inconspicuous electricity consumption from network appliances (e.g. set-top boxes, routers) is an issue of particular concern due to policy gaps. The results support technical interventions, such as the implementation of minimum energy performance standards, and other design measures. Other initiatives are required to influence householder behaviour, such as the expansion of mandatory energy labelling, improved feedback information and the use of behaviour change campaigns.