Are Game Consoles Energy Vampires?

Energy vampires are devices that cause high electric bills even turned off, with gaming systems being a main culprit. Mr. Electric looks at the issue.

Most don’t realize how much electricity is drained by game consoles, even when they’re switched to their supposedly energy-saving “standby mode.”  As home entertainment centers move from traditional cable boxes to video game console-centric hubs for streaming, gaming and more, most don’t realize that these devices are “energy vampires.”

What is an Energy Vampire

An energy vampire is an electronic device that quietly sucks up energy without you getting any use out of it, raising your bills. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the average household likely throws away $165 dollars every year due to energy vampires.

Over time, one of the biggest culprits has become the game console.

The latest Xbox and PlayStation consoles – Xbox One and PlayStation 4 – use three times the energy their previous generation did. These inefficient consoles drain your wallet even more when they’re used by consumers to stream video like Netflix or Amazon Prime.

Currently, the PS4 consumes 89 watts per hour while streaming video and Xbox One consumes 72 watts per hour. That’s well above the EnergyStar standard of 50, and roughly 35 times the energy consumption of an Apple TV or dedicated streaming device such as a Roku.

So, what can you do to prevent these energy vampires from sucking up your hard-earned dollars and consuming the entire output of four large power plants every year? Consider using your consoles for gaming exclusively. With the money you save from that alone you could buy a streaming device like a $30 Fire TV stick, or even a Roku Ultra for $99. If you keep your video-streaming PS4 idle on standby regularly, you’re looking at losing roughly $140, so it’s worth considering.

To simply reduce the idle energy drain of your Xbox, PlayStation or Wii, the NRDC recommends going into your system settings to make sure your console automatically shuts down after an hour of inactivity. Further, you can make sure your systems are completely off by an eye check, or even straight-up unplugging them during a long trip (or every day) if need be.

If you want to take a greater account of the energy consumption in your household, we suggest seeing if a professional energy audit is available from your local Mr. Electric. Additionally, Mr. Electric can protect your electronics with a whole house surge protector. Contact us now for an appointment!

If you’re looking for additional ways to save energy in your home, the experienced team at Mr. Appliance has plenty of tips for decreasing the amount of energy used by your appliances. Mr. Appliance is also part of the Neighborly community of home service businesses, meaning they’re a team you can trust to care for your home. 

This blog is made available by Mr. Electric for educational purposes only to give the reader general information and a general understanding on the specific subject above. The blog should not be used as a substitute for a licensed electrical professional in your state or region. Check with city and state laws before performing any household project.