If you have an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, you (like many others) may leave it on when it's not in use. However, consoles drain more electricity than you think, even when on standby. Luckily, each has an auto-shutdown feature to save you power.
Photo by Jamie McCall.
A recent study found that not only do your video game systems draw a lot of power — which should be pretty obvious — but that they draw almost as much power if they're on and not actively being used. So if you leave your system on in hopes that it won't cost you extra cash on your energy bill, you're somewhat misguided.
It turns out you don't need a fancy surge protector or any other device to automatically shut down your game systems — both the Xbox 360 and PS3 have an auto-shutdown feature built right in. Just head to your System Settings on either device and look for the Auto-Off feature.
Many of you probably do this already, and some of you probably just turn it off when you're done playing, but you'd be surprised at the number of people that don't — just like the number of people that never put their computers to sleep. Wii users are a bit luckier, as the Wii doesn't draw nearly as much power as the other two systems, so its effect on your energy bill is much less noticeable. But, as with all electronics, it's just good practice to turn your gear off when you aren't using it. Hit the link to read more about how much power these game systems draw and what kind of effect it can have on your power bill.