"Exhausted" Brits are wasting nearly £44 million a year leaving TVs and PCs on while they are asleep, according to new research findings unveiled today to mark Energy Saving Week.

This apparently amounts to enough to pay the annual electricity bills of 78,000 households and generates as much carbon dioxide as driving round the world 19,000 times.

Almost half of Brits surveyed confessed to leaving the TV on standby, while 25% of UK residents leave a light on when they go to bed.

“It’s hard to believe that in the current economic climate we’re effectively dreaming away this kind of cash but the good news is that we can easily do something about it", commented Philip Sellwood, chief executive of the Energy Saving Trust.

"Just by turning appliances off properly when they are not in use and avoiding standby, householders in the UK could collectively save over £900 million a year."

Energy Saving Week is between 20 and 26 October and is designed to promote energy saving action among householders through a concentrated programme of events across the UK.