The Natural Resources Defense Council recently put out an alarming press release claiming the Xbox One is causing consumers to waste an aggregate of $250 million annually in energy costs. The culprit: the "instant on" mode that draws significant power 24 hours a day, even when the system is supposedly "off."

The NRDC put out the release in an effort to convince Microsoft to turn off this "instant on" setting by default, or to at least offer an option to turn it off on the system's initial setup (as it does in Europe). Until Microsoft takes that step, though, we thought we'd bust out the old Kill A Watt power meter and confirm just how much energy our consoles are wasting when they're not in use, and offer you some tips on how to avoid that potential waste.

(All energy dollar values in this piece are based on the nationwide residential average of 12.15 cents per KWh cited by the US Energy Information Administration for December 2014, multiplied out over a full year.)


First, this should go without saying, but don't leave your consoles sitting on and "idle" on the home menu when you turn the TV off. That draws about 33W of power on the Wii U, 92W on the Xbox One, and a whopping 130W on the PS4. Leaving your PS4 sitting on the menu like this all year would waste over $142 in electricity costs.
How ?standby? modes on game consoles suck up energy | Ars Technica