Cost of Keeping Components on All the Time?

Hi Everyone,

The original poster in the thread below asked whether he should keep his equipment on at all times. The answer was pretty much "it depends."

My question is more about cost: I'm curious if anyone has noticed an increase in their electric bill from keeping things like SS power amps, tube amps, AVRs on all the time. Of course I realize that too would depend on various factors, but I'm just looking for some overall guidance. Are we talking a few bucks a month, or more/less? My components are listed below to give you a sense of the scale I'm talking about. I'd prefer to leave everything on all the time except when I'll be away overnight.

Logitech Squeezebox (for streaming WAVs from my PC)
Cambridge Audio DacMagic
Cary SLP-05 (for stereo pre)
Adcom GFA-555 (for stereo amp)
Arcam AVR-600 (for HT/surround)
Oppo BDP-103 (Blu-ray video and SACD)
Vandersteen 2ceSig IIs (mains; bi-amp/bi-wire capable)
Vandersteen 2W (subwoofer)
Vandersteen VSM-1 (surrounds)
Ten years ago my Forte' 4a class A amplifier added a verified $10 a month to leave on 24/7 vs only on when i was using it.
(i would say the amp was on about 40 hours a week when i would turn it on/off)
So the increase was about $10 a month in electricity back then for use only vs on 24/7.

Now i leave my stereo on 24/7.
I am retired, and listen to music all day every day..
Left on 24/7:
Bryston 4B-SST2 amp, BP-26 preamp 1,5 phono box,
Furman REF20i and PS Audio P600 power conditioners.
Two 5 disc CD changers, Adcom DAC, VAC Standard preamp.

I live in a one bedroom apt all electric utilities.(heat furnished separately)
My electric bill averages $55 Winter, $85 Summer (the $30 added in Summer is totally air conditioning)

So i would 'guess' my cost to leave my system on 24/7 is costing me $30 a month..
With the other $25 for stove, refrigerator, lights, Plasma TV.

I bet i would save only about $10 to $15 a month to turn it all off when not in use at this time.
Leaving it on is worth way more that $15 a month to me.
The first electric bill after I got my Pass Labs X-600 monoblocs (4 monoblocs)that were left on 24-7 nearly gave me a coronary. Now I only turn them on when I play the system. No 30 minute warmup and I turn them off after every listening session. I don't leave any components on 24-7 any longer.
The best thing to do in your case is to get a Kill-A-Watt and measure the consumption of each of your components at various times during playback.

Then you can take your electric bill and figure what the rates you are charged and input it into the Kill-A-Watt. It can give you an idea of what it would cost to run your system 24/7.

you could also do it the hard way and leave your system on 24/7 for a month and compare what you were charged.

I spoke to a guy who had Threshold SA-1 monoblocks and he kept them on 24/7 a long with the rest of his predominantly SS system and it added $25 to his first monthly bill after he got everything set-up.
Four Pass Labs X-600s... Wow 24-7 I bet you DID nearly have a coronary.
$250 a month extra is a lot...
My bill was running $230 a month. In mid December I decided to remove a PS Audio p600 and just run my monoblocks off the wall. My bill just dropped to $194 in 2 weeks without the p600. I would not power the p600 on unless I planned to listen , but even just plugged in the p600 still sucked a lot of power.

I leave my front end gear on 24/7.

Where I live has really odd ways to charge for power. PGE in California. If you lack periods of only essential power most of the day, you get penalized. I imagine a full month without the p600 will lower my bill even more significantly next month.
Jedinite24 is correct. Try using a Kill-A-Watt meter. It's very simple to use. I use one at my house. Otherwise, you're just guessing. You enter in the cost of your electric rate and then plug in your devices. It then calculates the daily, monthly, and yearly cost. Leave it on with the equipment running on idle for about an hour and that's all you need. The Kill-A-Watt is designed to go between equipment and then accurately calculate draw. However, since you only want to figure idle time, that's all you need to do is plug it in and leave it. In reality, you will have results in as little as 5-10 minutes.

In your case, plug everything into a power strip and then put the power strip into the Kill-A-Watt and you'll have an accurate idea of the total draw of the entire system.
As you realize, the cost will vary dramatically depending on the particular components that are in the system, especially power amplifiers and components that contain power amplifiers (receivers, integrated amplifiers, powered subs). Although the $30/month figure Elizabeth provided is in the right ballpark for your system.

I looked up the power consumption specs for your components, which are available for all of them other than the Squeezebox (which undoubtedly draws almost negligible power):

DACMagic: 5 watts
SLP-05: 25W standby; 75W operating
GFA-555: 72W idle; much more when playing music at high volume
AVR-600: 3W standby; 120W idle; much more when playing music at high volume
BDP-103: 0.5W standby; 35W operating
2W Sub: 10W idle; much more when playing music at high volume
Squeezebox: ~5W (my guess)

Using "idle" or "operating" values as applicable (although I don't know how optimal leaving the SLP-05 "operating" would be with respect to tube life), that all adds up to 322 watts, or 0.322 kilowatts. Multiplying by 730 hours in an average month results in 235 kilowatt-hours per month.

Multiply 235 by your cost per kW-hr to get $/month. The additional power consumption that occurs when you are playing music would add to that.

-- Al
Yeah the PS Audio P600 is a energy pig seeing it isreally basically an amplifier outputting A/C.. But mine is reslly not that bad. I only have the digital components hooked up to it. it runs only a littl warm to the touch.
Maybe yours (Justlisten's) is biased a little higher?
All of my analog stuff (plus video/HT stuff) is through my Furman REF20i

The item which IMO really wasted electricity for no reason was my Monster HTPS7000SS. It used an amp of juice just plugged in and turned on. nothing plugged into it at all.
If your stand-by is 200W, and average price of electricity is considered to $.15, than monthly 720hours * 0.2kw * $0.15 turns out to almost $20 monthly and $240 annually.
There are also states with $.2 kw/h and there are states with lower price point for the same.

So help electrical companies find more demand and bump higher prices. Another words it's very business-trivial: Higher demand = higher #of employees and higher expenses will end-up an increased price per unit of electricity used.
On the strong recommendation of the folks at SMC Audio, I have been leaving my McCormack DNA-1 Deluxe on 24/7. I don't have any idea how much per month that is costing me, but dang it does sound good. Now, I don't leave my other equipment on all the time. I wonder if my sound would benefit by leaving my Onkyo TX-NR809 that I am using as pre-pro on 24/7?
Benchmark DAC1: 10W
Rowland 102: 10W

20W * 730hrs * $0.06/kWhr = $0.876 per month
Gimme two big macs, large fries, apple pie and a diet coke.
Gimme two big macs, large fries, apple pie and a diet coke

That is a very healthy ”diet”. I love it.
DNA deluxe uses approximately 60W of idle power for both channels. Plug in values in the above mentioned formulas. for 15-cent kwh will yield ~$7/mo
Thank you all for the helpful replies. I really appreciate the help!
"DNA deluxe uses approximately 60W of idle power for both channels. Plug in values in the above mentioned formulas. for 15-cent kwh will yield ~$7/mo"

Thanks for that info. The even better news is, since I pay 8.9 cents/kwh, my cost should be ~$4!