British Gas has ruffled a few feathers today. In a report published by the BBC, the UK's biggest energy company has recommended that households should switch off what the company has dubbed "vampire devices". That's not a switched-on TV showing one of the many Dracula films on repeat, or even your Switch running the Castlevania Advance Collection 24-hours a day, but rather a device that still consumes power even then they are on standby.
The company has stated that turning off these devices instead of putting them into standby mode could save the average UK household around £147 a year. According to British Gas' research, leaving a games console on standby costs up to £12.17 a year, while leaving a computer or laptop plugged in on the same setting will set you back around £11.22.
The research from British Gas has drawn a number of criticisms from people, with the very first comment questioning the legitimacy of the figures:
[The article] is woefully inaccurate. A typical TV uses 0.5-1 watt in standby or 2w if communicating to the internet - even TVs from a decade ago. That's £1.23-£4.91 per year - far from the quoted £24.61. That would be 10w.
Since 2013 a range of devices in the EU can't exceed 0.5w in standby, or 1w if it has a display (eg. microwave clock).
Another point of issue is the rather steep increase in the energy price cap from April 2022 in the UK, which has seen household energy bills increase. This, to many, feels like British Gas is passing the buck a bit, especially when you compare that the company's profits rose by 44% to £118 million last year.
Eurogamer shared research from last year (which has been updated today by the author) that says previous reports on vampire usage were based on outdated measurements and devices, such as laptops being vampire users despite using that energy to actively charge the device. These figures that British Gas' report is based on are reportedly 10-years out of date.
According to Nintendo's own figures, the Switch consumes less energy than other games consoles currently on the market. In Sleep Mode, both the standard and the OLED model consume on average between 0.3 and 0.5W of energy, compared to the PS5's 3.7W in Rest Mode and the Xbox Series S' 0.5W in Standby, or 13W in Instant-On. So Nintendo Switch owners can rest a bit easier, at the very least.
You can read a summary of the report, published by the BBC, below, where you can also check out Eurogamer's own findings right next to it.
[source bbc.co.uk, via eurogamer.net]
I'd rather the government make steps to mitigate the financial strains across rhe country right now.
"vampire devices?" oh, please. here we go again with the alarmist names for video games.
if consoles are "vampire devices," then how come my Switch turned me into a werewolf? checkmate, British Gas.
Vampire devices are largely a myth, however having got a smart meter I did discover my old amp was using about 30w in standby, so it can be worth checking.
@Matty1988 Our government do that? Not a chance.
@CharlieGirl To be fair to British Gas it uses this term across ALL devices that use power when in standby, not just games consoles.
On the other hand TVs, computers, consoles use so little power in standby that yes this definitely feels like BG trying to blame the public for their energy bills when in fact it is the shareholders of these companies holding the country to ransom.
Someone ought to tell Wulf Den to cut his Switch OLED burn test early.
Here we go again. My advice they close the gas coming out of their pipe hole first.
this definitely feels like BG trying to blame the public for their ... bills
@Kiz3000 I understand that this is a familiar phenomenon over there...
@Moonsorrow999 They'll have to do something. Consumer spending is slowing and is showing signs of crashing, which means a recession is around the corner. Couple all the power nonsense with higher prices and taxes, and it's virtually guaranteed.
Yes, they may not draw much energy in standby, but they are drawing something. Just like the TV. The stereo system. The computer. The phone you leave on non stop charge overnight. If we can turn things off at the plug when we’re not using them we’ll use less energy, save money, and make less co2. It might not be much but it’s something we can do that won’t destroy our way of life doing so.
All the little bits add up.
The actual total adds up to 2 months worth of bills apparently and it isn't just consoles. However, the internet router/modem must not be turned off according to engineers (apparently). The Gas and Electricity companies are a real racket though. They seemed completely immune to the global economic problems of the late 2000s slowdown crash and the covid 19 pandemic.
The Martin Lewis view on this report was that it was overstated if you've got reasonably modern things but worth bearing in mind if you've got some older devices around. Like vampires, the older ones are the greatest threat.
“ Another point of issue is the rather steep increase in the energy price cap from April 2022 in the UK, which has seen household energy bills increase…. when you compare that the company's profits rose by 44% to £118 million last year.”
I see the utility companies in the US aren’t the only ones with record profits and still increasing prices. It’s very frustrating to see.
@LEGEND_MARIOID the router thing is due to the autonegotiation and speed ranging. They'll tend to adjust their speed according to stability, favouring a stable connection over a fast one. If they get turned off and on the process resets so in some cases the true maximum speed never gets reached.
The only vampires are the energy companies making record profits and making more billions
People blame the corporation, the corporation blames the people.
Meanwhile the government sits back and laughs.
Question: wouldn't it rack up a considerable electricity bill rather than a gas-based one? Unless almost everything in your house runs on gas, the chances of a games console doing what they're claiming seems highly unlikely.
@Fizza British Gas, despite the name, are also an electricity company.
@Yorumi the miracle of privatisation of natural monopolies. If you tax them too much they put up prices or go bust. I've been trying to make sense of it but unfortunately I'm completely out of mind-bending drugs.
I'm suggesting this is a pandemic issue? Or part of the problem why things are so damn high even in other parts of the world, not just Europe
Corporate bs... just roll responsibility off onto the end user and wipe your hands clean.
Should I turn off all the little red dots in my house? Hmmm...
meanwhile in Las Vegas
AHHHHHH MY EYES!!!!!
If only we had the technology to generate renewable energy, then we wouldn’t have to worry about that kind of thing
Yea they can eat my
I thought it was kind of a no-brainer to turn off and unplug anything you're not using.
@oatmaster are you serious. That's actually kind of hilarious.
I've been turning off my lights, devices, etc... that I'm not using and practicing energy conservation habits for decades. There's no reason to deliberately give oneself a higher energy bill for no reason. This should be common sense.
Underpowered hardware? More like energy conscious! I can see the commercials already...
The only Vampire Device I have will be my Nintendo Switch when I buy Capcom Fighting Collection in June.
So, still my Switch, I guess
Charge your Switch at work and use their electricity instead!
I have been turning everything off for a very long time. My electric bills are around £6 a month, so £72 a year roughly. Regardless, it is worth being more mindful of what you really use.
They'll be telling people to turn off the Gas next LMFAO 😂😂
I always try to see the funny side to things.
@Matty1988 Beat me to it. Putting Prices down would be the ideal way for people to save money.
It's much more important to keep an eye on the power consumption, when a device is actually used. If my PS5 consumes 100W and that for 1 or 2 hours per day, the 0,5W in standby does not really matter.
Just playing Atelier Sophie 2 on the Switch instead reduces my energy bill more than turning off each device.
I usually fully turn of all my devices. Especially my consoles, TV and PC. It's a really easy way to save on energy.
If it's got anything to do with the BBC you can dismiss it as lies automatically.
Our home's baseline is at 4p per hour. It goes up to about 7 if we turn on the living room lights since we still haven't got around to installing a proper dimming setup in there, and the LED bulbs don't like oldskool dimmer dials.
There's an NAS, two routers, a bunch of mobiles on charge and about half a dozen consoles plugged in.
Yeah, it definitely adds up, but a full day of it is easily usurped by boiling the kettle a few times a day. That's the real killer.
The world needs to find a better solution to boil water!!
@HollowSpectre Daily Mail is too busy covering the Johnny Depp and Whatsherface trial to weigh in on Switch power consumption.
They taking the piss how about lowing your prices instead of giving customers stupid advice.
I mostly agree and do the same. But I do keep my PS5 in rest mode sometimes.
Mainly because of updates. My internet isn’t the fastest in the world. So big updates (like the 20 gig monsters I was downloading for Black Ops Cold War) was misery unless I kept it in rest mode and allowed to download while I was at work.
I usually keep it turned off, though. Unless I know for sure one of my games has an upcoming big update. I’ll leave it on that night and next day so it can get it done while I’m not at home.
With that said, the PS5 is a power hog anyway. It measures between 200 watts and 300 watts per hour when playing games. Still a ton less than a beefy gaming rig. Those things are drawing down like 800 watts per hour in some cases.
Holy crap that is insanely cheap.
Where I live in the US, i pay about 100 bucks a month. Sometimes higher. It is clean though since the grid I’m on is nuclear powered. Helps with my climate sensibilities that no body else I know shares with me.
6 pounds is like 15 dollars right? I’d kill for electricity that cheap.
Well its ti,e to jump to renewable energy! LOL
Offset your carbon Al Gore style friends!
Go old school man. Build a small fire outside and boil that tea like the ancestors did!
A bit off topic but… I tried y’all’s tea once. It wasn’t for me. Which the lady who made it for me (she was a friend of my mom’s who immigrated here when she met her American husband) told me that it would be an acquired taste for my uncivilized Colonial taste buds lol.
@jrt87 I don’t remember anyone demanding the destruction of the economy. Or of jobs. Not even the media. I do remember people being a bit worried about the deadly and highly contagious virus that was sweeping the globe, though, and maybe felt the government was being a little blase.
None of the outcomes were good. People mostly did the best they could. (Emphasis on mostly, sadly.)
How dare anyone tell me how to save money!
@OrtadragoonX Depends on multiple factors, including brand/type of tea, and how well it's been made.
.. though I do tend to drink coffee more, I switch to tea whilst in hospital. 'Cos hospital coffee is the worst coffee imaginable!
I only do what nintnedo life tells me.
I never turn my Switch all the way off but always have my Series X in energy saver mode (where it turns off rather than waits in standby). Tbh I should see if the same option is on my PS5, it probably is. No need for those to constantly be running. But it’s highly unlikely I’ll be turning off my Switch every time unless it can boot me right back to where I was in a game after turning back on.
I would imagine more than a small town uses in the same time period if we are talking about a small crypto farm.
@CharlieGirl Oh my god, are you being serious, or joking? A “vampire device,” is any electrical device that draws excess power when it isn’t turned on but is still plugged in. It’s got nothing to do with demonizing video games. Any rechargeable device that is fully charged and left plugged in will continue to draw power that it doesn’t necessarily need, which is where the term comes from. My damn power drill is a “vampire device.” Holy smokes some people need to get out more!
@CptProtonX 😂 Same with all the other toilet rags too. Actually scratch that their not good enough to be toilet rags.
First the switch sucks our wallets dry and then our souls and now it is sucking our precious power grid. Damn you switch, damn you!
Oh silly BP do you not see the clear writing on the walls? We're doomed within 40 years so I'm not too worried about a few dollars of electric a year.
@MrGawain The amount for switching most of this stuff off is negligible. I'm sure it does add up, but it's not remotely convenient. I've probably got about 50 devices around the house. I worked out that to turn them all off would save me about £10 a year, off a £2000+ bill. So < 0.5%
Sure, every little helps but it's barely worth the time, effort and inconvenience to so every morning and every night.
You could also get rid of batteries in TV remotes and go back to turning them on manually. Go turn your broadband router on only when you need it. Stop drinking hot drinks. Stop wasting computer energy commenting on Nintendo lift forums.
People just aren't going to do this stuff and they shouldn't have to. There's much better ways people can save energy than miniscule annoying stuff like this.
@OrtadragoonX it's more like $7 or so. But he's making that up for some reason. Electricity bills have a daily basic charge even if you use nothing. For me it's 20p, that's fairly standard. So that means even if you used zero electricity your bill would be about £6 a month.
I live alone and an careful with what I use and just gaming on the PS5 for a few hours would more than double that. Then you've got your fridge, kettle, microwave, lights, shower, hot water, etc. You'd have to sit in the dark with nothing on, never cook (if elec powered), shower, have hot running water (if elec powered), never game or watch TV, no washing machine... for it to be anywhere near £6 a month.
For reference, the average UK electricity bill is £58 a month. That's $72.75. Bear in mind people don't tend to have air conditioning or use tumble dryers here, and they're two major costs. Also does heating tend to be gas or elec based in the US? Here most use gas powered things for heating.
I’m not moving my furniture around to unplug things.
There is an argument to turn off devices on standby directly from the mains.
One device on its own may not make much of a difference but as many as possible can may a bit of a difference.
That will take a lot of discipline as we have all got used to leaving devices on standby.
However, it won't be enough to reduce bills that will make a significant difference. The rising fuel caps is busting a lot of people hard. That is not even taking into account gas prices for the winter, which will go up again by around 40% in October.
Is it a cyber warfare den?
You can charge a switch with a solar panel.
I’m trying not to use my kettle, limited to one ovaltine in the evening! Had a green tea the other day with cold tap water that was interesting xx
It’s kinda absurd how much power the PS5 and Series X use.
This is the debunked myth "People playing violent Video Games become Violent". A useless means when they could really do the right thing but won't. They talk the talk but won't do the walk.
Lol, I'm still not gonna completely shutdown my PC or Switch, when I can just use sleep or standby mode. Why wait 30-40 seconds for a complete startup when you can be an energy-hog and wake from sleep-mode within 5 seconds?
It’s sort of a mix here when it comes to heating. I’m all electric. But it depends on your location.
My grandparents have a pretty cool set up. The central heat is electric. But they also have gas heaters installed. My granddad built the house back in the 60s and set it up for electric. But he did a remodel back when I was a kid (I think I was four maybe?) and decided to install gas lines while he was at it tied to an external tank.
Pretty unique set up. Not many people do that here. It’s usually one or the other. It was a god send back during a bad ice storm we had early in 2021. Power was out for a week. I ended up driving to their house and sleeping on a mat in the living room. My house was a block of ice for a week.
@BloodNinja i feel like this is a much less common term than you're making it out to be
And why else do you think they chose to say it? I'm not even going to bring it up directly, but I think we all know why.
Last month my electricity bill was 2 pounds. Hello from Russia. It is a pity that you are being robbed by your own government.
@OrtadragoonX it's more I don't really use as much as I used to. Just a couple of hours on a console in the evening, boil the kettle a little, have a shower and cook. Heating is cheap as it is a cladded flat, so barely flinches below 17 degrees when it is minus 3 outside. They will likely try to demolish them in the next ten years as they were built in the 60s, but they've never been expensive to live in.
BG have the cheek to say that, how about cutting obscene, record profits for your board for once, w*nkers
@jrt87 Fair enough! I think we just have different viewpoints. Maybe I’m too naive, maybe you’re too cynical. I saw plenty of coverage about the dangers of lockdowns - masses - as much as I saw coverage of what would happen if we didn’t lock down.
As another perspective, I have family in Sweden who were angry about the lack of lockdowns there and wondering why they weren’t following other European countries such as the UK, Germany and even Denmark just when, as I’m sure you remember, plenty of media coverage in the UK was praising the Swedes for keeping society open.
@somebread Thank goodness it’s in the first section of the article!
“... a device that still consumes power even when they are on standby.”
It still boggles my mind that in some parts of the world, essential utilities like electricity, gas or water can be owned by non-government entities.
Tap here to load 74 comments
Leave A Comment
Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...