Video games in the U.S. consume 16 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity a year, according to a new study conducted by the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC) and Ecos Consulting. This is roughly equal to the annual electricity use of all the homes in the city of San Diego, and translates to over $1 billion worth of energy a year.
The study found that the most popular models – Sony Playstation 3, Microsoft XBox360 and Nintendo’s Wii – use nearly the same amount of power in idle as when they are actually being played. More user-friendly energy saving features, as well as more efficient devices could reduce emissions by more than 7 million tons annually, the report found.
The report provides advice for video game players for cutting their energy costs, and as well as recommendations for how manufacturers can improve the efficiency of future models.