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Cognitive radios have been proposed in recent years to make more efficient use of the wireless spectrum and alleviate congestion on widely used frequency bands. A key aspect of these radios is the 'Cognition' gained through a spectrum scanning process. The benefit of this cognition is apparent and well studied in terms of achieving better communication performance on selected spectrum. The benefits in terms of reduced energy consumption, however, due to easier channel access and less contention have not been quantified in prior work. On the other hand, spectrum scanning to gain cognition is a power-intensive process and the costs incurred in terms of energy lost need to be accounted for.
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