Connected devices such as games consoles, set-top boxes and printers are wasting an estimated US$80 billion a year, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).
There are now 14 billion devices now in circulation that connect to the internet and inefficient technology is creating large volumes of wasted energy. By 2020, the IEA predict the losses will reach US$120 billion.
“The proliferation of connected devices brings many benefits to the world, but right now the cost is far higher than it should be,” said IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven.
“Consumers are losing money in the form of wasted energy, which is leading to more costly power stations and more distribution infrastructure being built than we would otherwise need – not to mention all the extra greenhouse gases that are being emitted. But it need not be this way,” said van der Hoeven.
“If we adopt best available technologies we can minimise the cost of meeting demand as the use and benefits of connected devices grows,” she added.
According to the IEA’s report, More Data, Less Energy: Making Network Standby More Efficient in Billions of Connected Devices, around two thirds of all the power used by connected devices is wasted. The potential savings would be the equivalent of closing 200 coal power plants with a capacity of 500MW each, according to the IEA.
The IEA recommends developing technology with a standby mode that uses less power with policy makers able to influence this switch by creating stiffer efficiency standards for the devices.