Whether you live in the UK or anywhere else in the world, energy prices are rising at an unprecedented rate. The costs – which have skyrocketed in recent weeks – threaten to plunge millions of families into poverty, and energy firms like British Gas have been releasing “advice” to help soften the squeeze on consumers. One such suggestion, as reported by the BBC, is to turn off your game consoles.
The company describes devices like the PS5 and PS4 as “vampires”, suggesting that consumers can save £12.17 per year by switching systems off, rather than putting them into Rest Mode. To be fair, it also extends the same suggestion to things like televisions, PCs, and laptops. But the figures quoted by British Gas have been called into question.
It claims that turning off an average television, rather than putting it in standby, could save up to £24.61 per year. But it’s been pointed out that, through European Commission regulation, TVs have been required by law to use 0.5 Watts or less per hour on standby since 2013. On a 28p/kWh price tariff, that works out at around £1.23 per year.
Sony’s own research shows that a PS5 in Rest Mode uses 0.36 Watts per hour, and up to a maximum of 3.2 Watts if you’re downloading a game and charging through the USB ports. Taking the lowest possible energy usage, at a price of 28p/kWh, leaving your PS5 in standby all year round should cost about 88 pence – while if you were charging and downloading the entire time (unlikely), you’d be looking at about £7.85.
Both figures are less than the £12.17 quoted by British Gas, which posted a 44 per cent increase in profits this February. Of course, there are unquestionably environmental and cost benefits to unplugging your electrical devices from time-to-time – no question about it. But at a time when Sony is making a concerted effort to improve the efficiency of its products, it looks to us like energy companies are trying to pass the buck to consumers with misleading statistics.