How to Save Energy When Gaming
Video game consoles use more energy than you might think. Internet connectivity, live streaming, wireless controllers, voice control, and gesture recognition all make up the fundamentals of a modern gaming console. If you’ve conducted your own home energy audit you’ll know these features hog a lot of electricity and many still draw power even when you’re not using them. Making small changes to your gaming experience can help cut your energy bill and make your household more energy-efficient.
How much energy do gaming consoles use?
Gaming consoles have become a standard fixture in most households and provide the family with hours of fun and entertainment. But have you ever wondered how much power your gaming console is using? The cost of gaming has quadrupled since the 90’s. Now that gaming technology has improved, more energy is needed to power and deliver these modern graphics and playing platforms.
Here’s a break down on some of the most popular gaming consoles and how they use power:
How much power does an Xbox One use?
Along with the Playstation, the XBox One uses up to three times as much electricity annually as the previous generation of gaming consoles. The XBox One uses an average of 300 kWh annually, which equates to around $80 on your annual power bill. In addition to this, the XBox One is designed to operate on the ‘Instant On’ function, meaning the unit never turns off, rather, it just switches to a low-power mode.
To help keep power usage under control, switch the unit to ‘Energy Saving Mode’. Doing so is similar to turning off your laptop when you’re done with it. By keeping the unit on its default ‘Instant On’ setting, it is constantly drawing power even when you’re not using it. The Xbox One devotes 44% of its total annual energy consumption to waiting for always-on voice commands.
In addition to setting it to its ‘power-down’ feature, you can also connect the device to a reliable surge protector with its own master switch. Simply switch it off when you’re leaving the house or going to bed.
How much power does a Playstation 4 use?
Similar to the XBox, the Playstation 4 costs about AUD$80 to run per year, with 285 watts used every hour of operation. 40% of this energy usage comes from the console’s ‘Standby Mode’. Like the XBox, the Playstation 4 is continuously drawing power to stay connected to the Internet, download updates, save your game where you last left it, and allowing the system to startup more quickly.
The problem is, ‘Standby Mode’ can add an extra $10 to your annual power bill, especially if you’re charging your wireless controllers at the same time. To offset this, you can switch off the console from the in-game menu or on the actual console itself when you’re not using it anymore. To charge controllers, attach them to the USB charging port.
You can also make your console more energy efficient by selecting the ‘Power Save’ option in the settings menu. If you use your console for streaming, consider switching over to a laptop to stream the same content for a fraction of the cost.
How much power does a gaming PC use?
Gaming PC’s are one of the most powerful consoles on the market. They are great for player experience, but not so great for energy efficiency. It’s estimated that a gaming computer and monitor uses roughly 1400kwh per year. This is the equivalent to the power use of 3 refrigerators.
In order to save costs on running your gaming PC, you can reduce energy draw in the in-game settings by selecting lower resolutions. Reducing video quality isn’t ideal for serious gamers, so look to changes you can make to your PC’s connectivity such as investing in an 80 Plus power supply and look to Dual-core processors since most studies have revealed that a Dual-core will use about 20 watts less than an entry-level Quad-core.
How much power does a Nintendo Switch use?
Efficiency-wise, the Nintendo Switch rates the lowest compared to other consoles with a max power draw of 18W during game use. The Switch also features a ‘Sleep Mode’ similar to ‘Stand-by Mode’ but unlike the XBox and PS4, it only draws just 0.1W. The Switch is a small console, so this stands to reason. Because of this, the Nintendo Switch is an incredibly energy-efficient gaming console in comparison to its contemporaries.
3 tips to save energy when gaming
1. Turn off the console when you’re not using it
Most gaming consoles come with a ‘Standby’ or ‘Sleep Mode’ which reduces power usage when you’re not using it. The only problem with these settings is that while it’s sleeping it is still drawing power. To completely shut off power, it’s recommended that you switch off the power on the console when you’re no longer using it.
2. Use a monitor with a high energy rating
Using a TV screen for gaming will generally cost between 16 and 30 cents an hour on a standard screen. For a larger monitor you can expect to pay between 43 and 76 cents per hour to run. Smaller, energy-efficient monitors cost much less to run – between 7 and 18 cents per hour.
This is why before you shop for a TV or specialised gaming monitor, try select one that has a 5-star energy efficiency score. For screens, an LED LCD screen are considered to be the most energy-efficient. Similarly, an OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) TV has the same energy-efficiency and can contribute to decreasing your energy costs.
3. Track your energy usage
You can identify which areas of your home or appliances are contributing to excessive energy use by conducting a home energy audit. By performing a thorough assessment of your home, you are able to make any changes or upgrades to faulty or high-energy drawing appliances to ensure everything is running efficiently.
In addition, there are some good devices on the market to help you monitor your household energy consumption. For example, the app JouleBug prompts you with sustainability tips that you can put into action in and around your household.
Get in touch with Platinum Electricians for energy efficient gaming
Gaming consoles are a common appliance in most households. While providing the family with endless entertainment, they do so at a cost.
Reduce your electricity costs as well as save energy by making smarter changes to your console and by monitoring your household daily appliances. One of our master residential electricians can help you to conduct an energy audit and give you tips to increase the energy-efficiency of your home.