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Over the last decade video games have grown in popularity until now it is rare to find a household which doesn’t own at least one console. A new study by researchers at the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has discovered that the cost of electricity used by these games consoles is in the region of billions of dollars; and that the majority of the electricity used was whilst the consoles were not being used.
According to the research, 68 percent of all game console energy consumed in 2010 happened while in idle mode, which equaled 10.8 TWh of energy and about $1.24 billion in electricity costs. In total, 1 percent of U.S. residential energy consumption in 2010 was spent on video game consoles, representing an increase of almost 50 percent compared to three years ago.
The lead researcher in the study stated that, “we demonstrate that the most effective energy-saving modification is incorporation of a default auto power down feature, which could reduce electricity consumption of game consoles by 75 percent (10 TWh reduction of electricity in 2010), saving consumers over $1 billion annually in electricity bills.”
Console makers are taking steps to reduce the time that the consoles can be left on idle by including software which automatically powers-down the machine if it has been left on idle for too long. The Microsoft Xbox 360 has a feature which puts it onto standby mode if left idle for more than one hour, Sony’s Playstation also has the same option, however it must be manually selected by owners in the settings.
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com