British Gas advises consumers to unplug game consoles to save money

Image: Nintendo Life / Damien McFerran

British Gas has ruffled a few feathers today. AT report published by the BBC, the UK’s largest energy company, has advised households to turn off what the company called “vampire devices”. It’s not a TV on, showing one of the many Dracula movies on repeat, and not even your Switch running the Castlevania Advance Collection 24 hours a day, but rather a device that still draws power even when it’s on standby. .

The company said turning these devices off instead of putting them on standby could save the average British family around £147 a year. Leaving a game console idle costs up to £12.17 per year, according to a study by British Gas, while leaving a PC or laptop connected to the network at the same settings will set you back around £11.22.

The British Gas study sparked a number of criticisms from people, with the very first comment casting doubt on the legitimacy of the numbers:

[The article] extremely inaccurate. A typical TV consumes 0.5-1 watts in standby mode or 2 watts when connected to the Internet – even ten-year-old TVs. That’s £1.23-4.91 a year – a far cry from the reported £24.61. It will be 10 watts.

Since 2013, a number of devices in the EU cannot exceed 0.5W in standby mode, or 1W if they have a display (such as microwave clocks).

Another issue is quite a sharp rise in the energy price cap from April 2022 in the UK, where electricity bills for households have increased. To many, British Gas seems to be shifting the blame a bit, especially when compared to the company’s profits rising 44% to £118m last year.

Eurogamer shared a study from last year (which was updated by the author today) which states that previous reports of vampire usage were based on outdated measurements and devices such as laptops that were used by vampires, despite this energy being used to actively charge the device. . These figures, on which the British Gas report is based, are reportedly 10 years out of date.

In accordance with Nintendo’s own numbersThe Switch consumes less power than other game consoles currently on the market. In sleep mode, both the standard and OLED models consume an average of 0.3 to 0.5 watts of power compared to PS53.7 W at rest and Xbox Series S0.5W standby or 13W instant on. So Nintendo Switch owners can at least relax a bit.

You can read a summary of the report published by the BBC below, where you can also check out Eurogamer’s own findings alongside it.

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