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Video games and energy: tips for gamers

Video game consoles consume an estimated 16 billion kilowatt-hours per year, according to a study released in November by the Natural Resources Defense Council. That’s about equal to the annual electricity use of the city of San Diego.

What does this mean for customers? Among the study’s findings:

Sony’s PlayStation 3 consumes the most energy. For the latest model, consumers will pay about $12 a year if they turn the console off when not in use, compared to about $134 if they leave it on continuously. Microsoft’s Xbox 360 costs about $11 to operate annually, but leaving it on all the time will cost about $103. Nintendo’s Wii uses significantly less power than the others. It costs about $3 a year if turned off after use, compared to about $10 if left on.

Here’s what your customers can do to save energy and money:

  • Turn consoles off when not in use. Leaving consoles on consumes nearly 10 times more annual energy than if they’re off.


  • Enable automatic power-saving features, which shut consoles down if left idle for a certain length of time.


  • Limit movie watching on game consoles, as these devices consume more energy than stand-alone DVD and Blu-ray players.

Source: Focus on Energy’s ENERGY STAR Extra