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Today, more than 40 percent of all homes in the United States contain at least one video game console. Recognizing that all that gaming could add up to serious demand for electricity, NRDC and Ecos Consulting performed the first ever comprehensive study on the energy use of video game consoles and found that they consumed an estimated 16 billion kilowatt-hours per year -- roughly equal to the annual electricity use of the city of San Diego. Through the incorporation of more user-friendly power management features, we could save approximately 11 billion kWh of electricity per year, cut our nation's electricity bill by more than $1 billion per year, and avoid emissions of more than 7 million tons of CO2 each year. In this November 2008 issue paper, NRDC provides recommendations for users, video game console manufacturers, component suppliers and the software companies that design games for improving the efficiency of video game consoles already in homes as well as future generations of machines yet to hit the shelves.


Video game controller
The XBOX 360 and Sony Playstation have power-saving auto-shutdown modes but it’s up to gamers to enable the mode to save energy and money. Follow these instructions to enable auto-shutdown:

Playstation 3
XBOX 360

OVERVIEW & QUICK REFERENCE
Fact Sheet

FULL ISSUE PAPER IN PDF
Adobe Acrobat file (size: 316 KB)
Click here if you need a copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader (free)

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Executive Summary
Chapter 1: The State of Gaming
Chapter 2: Gaming System Usage and Energy Consumption
Chapter 3: Power Management in Video Game Consoles
Chapter 4: National Video Game Console Energy Savings Potential
Chapter 5: Conclusion and Recommendations for Increasing Gaming Console Efficiency
Appendix: Building Upon Existing Gaming Console Usage Research
Endnotes


See the 2014 update to this report, The Latest Generation Video Game Consoles: How Much Energy Do They Waste When You're Not Playing?

last revised 11/17/2008

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