Environmental Group Rates Console Energy Use

The Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental non-profit group, has studied the energy consumption patterns of the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii, and released a report showing each system's impact on the environment.

The study, noticed by Slashdot, found that American console players consume 16 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, on par with the entire consumption of the city of San Diego, California.

The Wii is far and away the most frugal of the three current-generation consoles by consuming an average of only 16 watts while active. The next best, the Xbox 360, leaps up 119 watts on average, and the PlayStation 3 steps up further to an average 150 watts.

The NRDC argues that the use of power-saving features in consoles could cut up to 11 billion of that 16 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, saving $1 billion on electric bills and cutting CO2 emissions by 7 million tons--as much as all the cars in San Jose, California.

The group pointed out that the 360 and PS3's power-saving auto-shutdown features are turned off by default. Shacknews readers are encouraged to visit the NRDC's guides for enabling power-saving features to save a few bucks.