October 24, 2005 7:54 AM PDT

Companies urged to switch PCs off

Companies should encourage employees to switch off PCs at night or continue wasting money and energy, according to research by Fujitsu Siemens.

In a report released on Monday, the PC maker claimed that about $217 million (123 million pounds) is wasted every year in the U.K. alone powering PCs that could have been shut down or left in hibernation mode. The report also pointed out the environmental impact of all the wasted energy.

Fujitsu Siemens surveyed 1,000 employees and found that some 370 never turned off their computers before leaving the office for the day.

"U.K. businesses need to consider both the financial and environmental implications of leaving a computer running and make turning off their PCs each night a policy," said Garry Owen, head of product marketing at Fujitsu Siemens Computers, who added that simply putting a computer into standby means it still is consuming power.

Fujitsu Siemens released its report to coincide with the start on Monday of Energy Saving Week, a nationwide initiative aimed at raising the awareness of the damaging effects of climate change and ways to prevent it.

With energy prices having soared in recent months, plus growing concerns over climate change, the amount of power used by PCs is a hot topic. The European Union recently agreed legislation to cut down on energy wasted by idle computers, including those left in standby.

"Hundreds of thousands of tons of carbon dioxide are needlessly produced every year by computers, digital set top boxes, chargers and many other products left on standby mode," said Environment Minister Elliot Morley in June. "We know that products can be designed to be much more efficient and do less harm to the environment. Wasted energy is a hidden cost for consumers and in this day and age that is unacceptable."

There has been confusion in the past about whether it is better to turn PCs off when not in use, or to leave them switched on. Some people have claimed that regularly turning computers off can, over time, weaken links between components and damage hardware such as the hard drive.

According to some estimates, just turning off a monitor can save 75 percent of the overall energy consumption of a PC.

Graeme Wearden of ZDNet UK reported from London.

16 comments

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or at least
put it into power saving mode...

in fact im suprised the company doesnt care that money is being thrown out like this
Posted by volterwd (466 comments )
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or at least
put it into power saving mode...

in fact im suprised the company doesnt care that money is being thrown out like this
Posted by volterwd (466 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Unlikely
Until businesses figure out how to spend enough money to get all company computers up to current standards, this isn't going to happen. Many companies do administrative work during off-hours when the user isn't at his desk. But the desktop terminals are too antiquated to do this during the day, because it slows the business systems to a crawl. Have a nice energy-saving day!
Posted by (7 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Unlikely
Until businesses figure out how to spend enough money to get all company computers up to current standards, this isn't going to happen. Many companies do administrative work during off-hours when the user isn't at his desk. But the desktop terminals are too antiquated to do this during the day, because it slows the business systems to a crawl. Have a nice energy-saving day!
Posted by (7 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Microsoft can make this happen!!
There was a product 15 yrs ago that tried to support "instant on" -- so that you could start up within about a minute, all apps & windows just as you left them. The appl. wrote your PC's state to a file that is then loaded back in on reboot. For <some> reason the company didn't take off...might have been for Macs anyway.

I don't shut down all week because I have 15+ windows open. This would be a big headache to re-create each morning -- it represents my state of thought. MS could fix this by implementing such an application to store a PC's state...
Posted by PeterDak (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Indeed
Instant on would surely give people more of an incentive to power down. As it is it can take 15 minutes to powerdown (as my documents synchronizes with the server) and we all know how long Windows takes to boot. I'd be looking at 1/2 hour a day just to turn the computer on and off.

I DO have the monitor set to power down after an hour because there is just no sense in leaving it on. I'm wary of standby because of how often Windows systems crash when recovering from standby.
Posted by MikeURL (23 comments )
Link Flag
Already there
It is called hibernate. It writes the contents of RAM to a disk image, then powers down. On restart, it loads the image.
I use it on my laptop, and my Win2K servers support it( though I don't use it there).
It is not 'instant', but quick, and everything is where you left it.
Posted by catchall (245 comments )
Link Flag
Microsoft can make this happen!!
There was a product 15 yrs ago that tried to support "instant on" -- so that you could start up within about a minute, all apps & windows just as you left them. The appl. wrote your PC's state to a file that is then loaded back in on reboot. For <some> reason the company didn't take off...might have been for Macs anyway.

I don't shut down all week because I have 15+ windows open. This would be a big headache to re-create each morning -- it represents my state of thought. MS could fix this by implementing such an application to store a PC's state...
Posted by PeterDak (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Indeed
Instant on would surely give people more of an incentive to power down. As it is it can take 15 minutes to powerdown (as my documents synchronizes with the server) and we all know how long Windows takes to boot. I'd be looking at 1/2 hour a day just to turn the computer on and off.

I DO have the monitor set to power down after an hour because there is just no sense in leaving it on. I'm wary of standby because of how often Windows systems crash when recovering from standby.
Posted by MikeURL (23 comments )
Link Flag
Already there
It is called hibernate. It writes the contents of RAM to a disk image, then powers down. On restart, it loads the image.
I use it on my laptop, and my Win2K servers support it( though I don't use it there).
It is not 'instant', but quick, and everything is where you left it.
Posted by catchall (245 comments )
Link Flag
Hmm
So is this article saying you loss weight or gain weight if you leave your computer on???

;P
Posted by simcity1976 (136 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Hmm
So is this article saying you loss weight or gain weight if you leave your computer on???

;P
Posted by simcity1976 (136 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Many available solutions
There are many available solutions to PC power management. Examples of this are:
Verdiem provides Surveyor software that offers flexible control of power management on networked computers.
US Environmental Protection Agency's EZSave software also provides PC power management for networked computers.
Both of these have been installed on thousands of PCs and have resulted in verified energy savings.
Posted by pdegens (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Many available solutions
There are many available solutions to PC power management. Examples of this are:
Verdiem provides Surveyor software that offers flexible control of power management on networked computers.
US Environmental Protection Agency's EZSave software also provides PC power management for networked computers.
Both of these have been installed on thousands of PCs and have resulted in verified energy savings.
Posted by pdegens (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Does this added bit of info help anyone?
I computed my electric bills for the past 2 years, then compared wattage consumption to the servers, computers and peripherals (by their listed wattage) I had running both 24/7 and those shut down nightly... computers, monitors, printers, routers, modems, etc.

Using basic math I now know:

- My costs are about $1.00 per watt for the electricity to operate any single electrical device 24/7/365.

This is based on general electricity rates as of Oct.1, 2005, so add on your local percentage increase rate when appropriate. Now it's easy to determine your savings per device by it's on/off schedule per day/month/year.

- Therefore, it costs $200 annually to leave a 200 watt computer turned on 24/7/365.
- And it costs roughly $100 to leave a 100 watt light bulb turned on 24/7/365.

Why is this important to know? Because we're being told the cost of fuel will be rising dramatically in the immediate future, and the generating of electricity is another major source of consumption to be passed on to the consumer. No more bargain rates.

And as far as the argument for diminished product lifespan for frequent on/off procedures - Not with our current reliable devices - another urban tale bites the dust.
Posted by vox365 (32 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Does this added bit of info help anyone?
I computed my electric bills for the past 2 years, then compared wattage consumption to the servers, computers and peripherals (by their listed wattage) I had running both 24/7 and those shut down nightly... computers, monitors, printers, routers, modems, etc.

Using basic math I now know:

- My costs are about $1.00 per watt for the electricity to operate any single electrical device 24/7/365.

This is based on general electricity rates as of Oct.1, 2005, so add on your local percentage increase rate when appropriate. Now it's easy to determine your savings per device by it's on/off schedule per day/month/year.

- Therefore, it costs $200 annually to leave a 200 watt computer turned on 24/7/365.
- And it costs roughly $100 to leave a 100 watt light bulb turned on 24/7/365.

Why is this important to know? Because we're being told the cost of fuel will be rising dramatically in the immediate future, and the generating of electricity is another major source of consumption to be passed on to the consumer. No more bargain rates.

And as far as the argument for diminished product lifespan for frequent on/off procedures - Not with our current reliable devices - another urban tale bites the dust.
Posted by vox365 (32 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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