Those eco-conservative Tories have been at it again. They've labelled the standby button as something which damages the environment and needs to be culled.

According to Gizmodo, David Cameron's Conservative Party named standby buttons in its Blueprint for a Green Economy report, which sets out a gameplan to combat global warming.

"Standby power consumption currently accounts for 2.25 per cent of electricity production and this wasteful usage is set to increase as it is introduced into an ever widening range of electronic equipment," says the report. "Priority should be given to developing a standard that requires all electrical devices to include a function that switches them off."

The Tories are also dismissive of attempts to limit standby power. They point out that many mobile phone chargers use less than 1W of power when charging, but "if every one of the country's 25 million mobile phones chargers were left plugged in and switched on they would consume enough electricity (219GWh) to power 66,000 homes for one year."

No plasma ban after all

However the Tory report has stopped short of a ban on plasma TVs as was predicted by Channel 4 last week. Instead the Conservatives are calling for an energy efficiency labelling scheme - like that used for domestic appliances - to be introduced on TVs, PCs and other devices.