Computers' energy costs

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 4, 2008
Updated • Dec 4, 2012

Ever wondered how energy friendly the Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii were ? Or how a LCD monitor would fare against a good old CRT monitor ? Australian consumer group Choice created a chart displaying the power usage of common household technology products and it's important that people understand the implications.

The test compared the on, off and idle states of the devices if applicable listing the weekly, monthly and yearly energy consumption and costs in a table. The Playstation 3 is by far the most energy hungry device in the test followed by a 42" Plasma TV and the Xbox 360 while the Nintendo Wii consumes only a tenth of the energy the Playstation 3 needs.

I could go on but the essence, the real important information can be found when comparing the idle energy consumption with the one when the device is turned off. Lots of money can be saved by turning the devices off instead of leaving them in idle mode. The Playstation 3 for instance consumes 1655.20 Kwh per year in idle mode but only 15.53 Kwh when turned off.

It does not make much sense to turn off the gaming console the whole year to save energy but it makes perfectly sense to turn it off when no one is playing. If you want to cut all costs you simply disconnect the power supply from the device.

Someone with a Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 would pay more than $420 per year for both devices even if they would be in idle mode most of the time. Please note that you have to check the local costs of 1 Kwh and calculate the expenses this way. It could very well be that you would be paying more or less depending on the energy costs in your country.

I usually cut the power supply that powers my LCD TV, Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360, Playstation 2 and Xbox whenever I'm not using those devices to save energy. I do not cut the power supply on my computer though, mainly because it does not make a huge difference.

Are you saving energy, if so how ?


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  1. Mosey said on June 6, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    This is very informative, thank you! I think I might unplug my Wii when I go home ;)

  2. Jojo said on June 4, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    I turn off my monitor physically when I leave it. My hard disks are set to power down after 30 minutes. My computer runs 24×365 and is never turned off.

    I use florescent light bulbs everywhere in my home except for a ceiling mounted halogen bulb in the dining room which is only used for evening meals.

    Electricity cost here in Northern CA is $0.11559/Kwh. So your x-box calc here would be about $200/yearly (still seems like quite a lot!).

  3. Thomas Murphy said on June 4, 2008 at 10:45 am

    Check out this video.

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