Electricity costs on game consoles have soared into the billions with tons of energy being wasted, according to a study (PDF) by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University. However, it doesn't have to stay this way.
The moral of this study: power down when done playing.
According to the research, 68 percent of all game console energy consumed in 2010 happened while in idle mode, which equaled 10.8 TWh of energy and about $1.24 billion in electricity costs. Overall, 1 percent of U.S. residential energy consumption in 2010 was spent on video game consoles, which is an increase of almost 50 percent over three years ago.
Some game makers have taken steps tosuch as the Xbox 360, which has an auto-standby feature that puts the console on standby if it's idle for more than one hour. PlayStation 3 can update its software to add a power-management feature, but it hasn't yet, it's still disabled by default and makes users manually opt in.