If your electricity bills have been heading ever upwards, you may not have to look further than your game console for the reason why.

An Australian consumer agency study has found that videogame consoles and plasma flat-screen TVs are some of the biggest electricity guzzlers, even when left on stand-by.

Sony's PlayStation 3 topped the list out of 16 electronic devices tested, closely followed by Xbox 360 and plasma television sets. Others included laptops, stereos and DVD players.

Carried out by Choice, the study results were published on the company's website. It stated: "Our tests found that leaving a Playstation 3 on while not in use would cost almost... five times more than it would take to run a refrigerator for the same yearly period.

"The plasma TV set was also a power hungry device, consuming over four times more power than a traditional analogue set. The average desktop computer was third on the list."

The report advised consumers to switch off their electronic devices at the source, rather than just putting them on power-consuming stand-by mode.

"This saves on money, not to mention carbon emissions," it added.