After California Nixes Energy-Sucking TVs, What's Next in the Crosshairs?


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California recently passed a ban on the most energy sucking TVs, pulling them from store shelves in an effort to decrease how much electricity goes to the devices. It is expected to save enough energy to power 1 million homes and will cut CO2 emissions by 3.5 million tons. That's a big deal, but a quick glance at the average American's entertainment system tells us that it's not the only place a ban like this could be effective. PC Magazine takes a half joking jibe at a few devices - but their choices of examples actually show a bright red arrow pointing at a particular group of gadgets. Gaming consoles and computers . They really suck energy. PC Magazine points out 5 other devices besides your TV that you should turn off while not in use, and they include Playstation 3 (Original), which draws 150 watts when in use; Alienware Area51 X58 Desktop PC, which uses 95% more power than other desktops tested by the magazine; HP LP2275w Monitor, which sucks 45% more power than similar monitors; and Dell XPS M1730 Gaming Laptop, taking up a whopping 112% more power than similar computers.

Gaming takes up loads of energy. While the computers tend to be specially built and ordered from online, where a single state's ban would do little to deter purchasing them (the price alone of gaming computers is enough to make them a little more elite), the area where a ban could be put to use is on the most energy sucking gaming consoles available in electronics stores.

Last year, Energy Star finally started taking notice of gaming consoles, with testing supposedly beginning in July of this year, but the final requirements are only now being agreed upon.

A 2008 report from the National Resources Defense Council showed that not only are gaming consoles really big energy hogs - gamers consume as much electricity in a year as the city of San Diego - but there's a lot companies can do to make them more efficient.

By standardizing requirements on power supplies and settings for the consoles, and requiring manufacturers to make them more efficient or else there won't be shelf space for them, we could see a nationwide electricity savings of more than $1 billion per year as well as avoid 11 billion kilowatt hours of electricity 7 million tons of CO2 emissions.

It would be just as simple (and just as temporarily frustrating for the consumer electronics industry) to ban the most energy inefficient gaming consoles from store shelves as it was to ban certain TVs, and if the ban on televisions proves as effective for energy savings as expected, perhaps similar measures could move on to other devices like gaming consoles.

More on Energy and Household Devices
How Much Energy Can a Gadget Minimalist Save?
Want to Save $100 A Year and Power San Diego? Just Turn off Your XBox
Electricity Monitoring at Home Saves Energy on Gadget Use

Tags: Computing | Electronics | Energy Efficiency | Gadgets