Give a hoot, kill an owl
Microsoft is addressing the Xbox One’s excessive latent power consumption ($6-$15 worth per year) with an update, but Natural Resources Defense Council scientist Noah Horowitz says on the non-profit’s website, “It may be premature to conclude that [the new setup option] will result in the desired energy savings and also avoid the associated pollution.”
The energy-saving setting was always an option, but now the Xbox One presents users the choice at start up, rather than defaulting to Instant-on and requiring users to track down the saver setting. The language alone Microsoft uses to present the “Energy-saving” and “Instant-on” settings, however, could sway people away from the former — “slower startup time,” “get interrupted for updates.”
It also, “neglects to mention the main reason why the Xbox One uses so much power when it’s not being used: the always-on voice recognition feature, which “is responsible for roughly 40% of the consoles [sic] total annual electricity usage.”
Horowitz also explains at the end of the post how many other modern piece of technology — phones, TVs, laptops, Amazon Fire, Wii U, PS4 — handle power consumption better than the Xbox One.