Here, Tom Rafferty of analyst firm Red Monk, compares the energy consumption of an XBox 360 with a Nintendo Wii in ‘off’, ‘stand-by’ and ‘on’ modes. What it clearly shows is that even when you think you’ve turned your electronic equipment off, it’s still consuming energy.

In the video Tom uses an energy meter by Fujitsu Siemens, but he tells me that there are lots of them around and similar devices can be bought from CurrentCost and Wattson.

On Amazon currently, a plug monitor seems to cost around £13-17.

UPDATE via Tom (see comments):
Another example:


    1. Hey Tom,
      No problem. Thought it showed things really clearly, as does the computer example.
      It’s quite surprising how off really doesn’t mean off isn’t it. I’m sure most people would think that if a device is turned off and not just placed ‘stand-by’ then it wouldn’t be consuming any energy.
      What would be interesting to know is roughly over a year how much money that would save people, as 3W is quite a quantifiable amount.

  1. Hey Kathryn – good point.

    It is easy to say 3W but what direct impact does that have on people?

    Well, the ESB in Ireland charge €0.16 (incl. VAT) per unit. 1 unit = 1kWh (1kWh = 1,000W for 1 hour)
    So 3W for 1 hour = 3Wh
    3W for 1 week = 168 hours x 3W = 504Wh
    3W for 1 year = 504Wh x 52 = 26208Wh or 26.208kWh
    26.208 units x €0.16 = €4.19 per annum

    So a 3W trickle of electricity costs around €4.20 a year. If you have 10 items in the house pulling this type of load (think dishwasher, tumble dryer, washing machine, cordless phone cradle, radio, tv, dvd player, etc.) and it very quickly starts to add up!

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