How your game console affects your power bill

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - In today's society, where the focus on being environmentally aware, friendly and sustainable is key and governments are considering ways in which to reduce carbon emissions — both nationally and globally — standby power also 'stands up' as an issue of significance.

However, many keen gamers and 'entertainment gizmo' junkies may not be aware of the impact that standby power is having on their electricity bills… and the planet!

TrickleStar's range of products address the issue of standby power that is consumed by PC appliances and TV accessories such as printers, modems, speakers, scanners, games consoles, DVD players, amplifiers etc by stopping the flow of standby power when they are in 'standby' mode.

"It's jaw dropping to see exactly how much of a drain simple things like leaving your games console on, or having amplifiers, satellite receivers and other entertainment devices on permanent standby can have and moreover, the cost they can add to household electricity bills," noted Bernard Emby, Founder of TrickleStar.

The Australian Consumer Association recently published an article that looked at Computer Energy Costs, including the running costs, or 'power drain' of games consoles, televisions and other entertainment system devices.

The report noted, "The device that consumed the most power in our test when in use was the PlayStation 3, closely followed by the Xbox 360 and Plasma TV. Even when idle (on, but [not] in use), these systems consumed the most power of the devices tested. Incredibly, the Playstation 3 consumed over 10 times as much power as the Nintendo Wii.


"Our tests also found that leaving a PlayStation 3 on while not in use would cost almost $250 a year in electricity bills (charged at 15c per kWh). This alone is around five times more than it would take to run a refrigerator for the same yearly period."

"The Xbox 360 was not far behind the PlayStation 3 in energy usage costs per year, serving as an important reminder to turn off videogame systems after use."

"We have developed a range of products that effectively stop the flow, or leakage of electricity caused by standby modes on all sorts of gizmos and gadgets used in the home and office," Mr Emby added.

"When you consider that standby power has been estimated as contributing to as much as 12% of consumers electricity bills - in the home or office environment - you realize just how much standby power costs, not just for the impact it has on our hip pockets, but on the electrical grid and the planet."

"As a parent, I know what it's like to have to check whether the kids have turned off the lights, or left the TV and their games consoles in standby mode. By using our products, parents can rest assured that even if their kids have left their PlayStation or Wii in standby mode, they won't be draining power and adding to the electricity bill."

The TV TrickleSaver has inbuilt current sensing circuitry that senses when a TV is on or off.

When the TV is 'on' the product will switch on all accessory devices. Conversely, when the TV is 'off', the product will switch off all accessory devices.

The sister of the TV TrickleSaver, the PC TrickleSaver, connects to a PC via a standard USB cable and detects the power status of a PC via the USB port.

When a PC is powered the product will switch 'on' all peripherals. Conversely, when a PC is switched 'off', the product will switch off all peripherals.

Both the PC TrickleSaver and TV TrickleSaver are typically connected to a standard electrical powerstrip in order to manage a number of connected devices, so there is no need to replace existing powerstrips in the home in order to utilize the TrickleSaver units and save power.

TrickleStar has also developed an online power standby calculator which is on the TrickleStar website ( The calculator enables users to configure their own PC or entertainment system, the hours they use the equipment and the cost of their electricity. The calculator can then provide data specifying the amount of electricity saved, CO2 saved and the 'environmental payback' period. The calculator uses independent data sourced from AMEE and DEFRA.

Mr Emby noted, "A report issued in 2001 by the IEA (International Energy Agency) stated that 'we can reduce standby power consumption by about 74 per cent using cost-effective technologies and design changes'. We see that our range of clever, efficient products offer the way forward when it comes to minimizing waste and environmental impact."


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