January 2023 – Digital timers reduce standby times of printers, PCs and water dispensers at Bosch in Zagreb

With around 400,000 employees and 440 subsidiaries and regional companies in 60 countries, the Robert Bosch GmbH conglomerate is the world’s largest automotive supplier, but is also active in the industrial technology, household appliances, power tools, and building technology segments.

The company Robert Bosch d.o.o., with 68 employees and headquartered in Zagreb, is a wholesaler of the Group’s electrical household appliances. There Danica Katičić, Petra Morović and Ana Plavša work in the HR department and as Energy Scouts they designed a practical project. The special feature of the project in advance – only small investments are necessary and the installation takes only a few minutes!

Spatially flexible working models – especially due to the Covid pandemic and the associated digitalization push – are now the standard for many employees with office jobs. This often results in empty offices.

However, the standby consumption of typical power consumer groups such as printers, desks and water dispensers has grown steadily as their pure operating hours have decreased due to fewer employees on site.

After a tour and brainstorming session, the three Energy Scouts asked themselves the following: What if the power consumers in the corporate offices could be designed along each employee’s work model?

Programmable timers could completely disconnect equipment from the power grid for scheduled absences. Even with devices worth around 5-10 euros, it is straightforward to plan a typical week and, for example, completely switch off downstream equipment on weekends and at night.

Before actually installing the timers, the most important step is to train employees to set the device. The devices have the greatest impact when employees adjust the timers to their individual work patterns or when the timers are used to turn off large loads such as printers and water dispensers.

Standby Consumption


  • Industry sector: wholesale of electrical household appliances
  • Energy source: power
  • Energy saving potential: 1,109.23 kWh/year
  • Savings potential CO2: 0.1608 tons of CO2/year
  • Potential cost reduction:  119.57 €/year
  • Investment costs: 276.86 € for 38 devices
  • Payback period: 2.7 years
A typical digital timer with weekly mode (© Robert Bosch d.o.o. Zagreb)
The installation is worthwhile at every workplace (© Robert Bosch d.o.o. Zagreb)
The Energy Scouts test the timers (© Robert Bosch d.o.o. Zagreb)