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Power down to cut electricity bills

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If you live by yourself in a small flat but your monthly electricity bills still top £100, then it could be your love of games consoles that’s dragging you into debt, it has been alleged.

A series of power consumption tests by Aussie consumer group Choice has revealed that consoles are some of the most power-hungry devices in modern homes, with the PlayStation 3 noted as one of the worst.

According to calculations from its test results, Choice found that frequently leaving the PS3 in idle mode could cost you around AU$20 (£10) each month – based on electricity charges of 15 cents per kWh.

Sony’s PS3 was closely followed by Microsoft’s Xbox 360, which has a monthly idle mode cost of around AU$15 (£7). By contrast, the Wii’s a much cheaper console to run because it only sets your back around AU$2 (£0.50) when frequently left in idle mode.

But if you’re looking for other ways to cut your electricity bills, then Choice’s test results also encourage you to turn your attention to PCs, monitors and, possibly, even your wireless router.

A 2.5GHz MacBook Pro will cost you around AU$28 (£14) each year to keep it charged, whilst Apple’s 2GHz iMac appears to be much more power-hungry – with an annual cost of about AU$80 (£40). You’d be wise to ditch your (generic) desktop PC though, because a 2.13GHz machine could see AU$130 (£64) added to your yearly electricity bill.

Chopping up the CRT in favour of an LCD will save you a few bucks, because the annual running cost of a CRT, or more specifically Panasonic’s PanaSync E70i, is AU$95 (£46). BenQ’s Q9W5 LCD monitor proved a more pocket-friendly AU$43 (£21) each year.

You even stand to save money by switching off your wireless router at night. Choice found that the annual running cost of one from Belkin is around AU$14 (£7).

A full breakdown of Choice's findings can be seen here.

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