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Cable and Video Games are Taking Over Your Electric Bill

26 June 2014

Electronics account for 10% to 15% of an average home’s electricity use. Energy consumption of two popular electronics, set top cable boxes and video game consoles, are making quite a buzz in the energy world.

Cable Boxes

Set top cable boxes have become a leading residential electricity hog. Why? Cable boxes use almost as much electricity when they are off as they do when they are on. In fact, two-thirds of the energy they use is consumed when they are off, due to program updates, software updates and spinning hard drives. In addition, consumers do not choose what cable box they receive from their provider and are given no information on the energy consumption of their box. This leads to a market failure and means that there is no incentive for companies to create more efficient devices.

DSte top box

What can you do? The best thing to do it to ditch your cable box for a streaming device such as apple tv or Roku. These devices use significantly less electricity, 2 watts instead of 32 to 50 watts!(source)

 Video Game Consoles

Altogether, U.S. residents spend nearly 1 billion dollars a year paying for electricity consumed by video game consoles and this number is increasing.  New research from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) on video game consoles found that Play Station 4 and Xbox One use two to three times more energy than their previous models.  In addition to the large electricity consumption when in use, 30% to 45% of the energy consumption of game consoles happens when the device is off and connected (standby power).

Video games

What can you do? Connect the console to a power strip that you turn off when not in use. This will cut all power to the system. You can also avoid any kind of “instant on” feature, all of which are very inefficient.

Read the complete articles:

The Latest-Generation Video Game Consoles: How Much Energy Do They Waste When You’re Not Playing?– NRDC

Cable TV boxes become 2nd biggest energy users in many homes– LA Times

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