2009 PC Energy Report Suggests UK Organisations Waste £300 Million Per Year Powering Idle Computers
The findings of the 2009 PC Energy Report have been released by 1E and the Alliance to Save Energy. Despite spiralling energy costs and the environment playing an increased role in the corporate agenda, much further action is required by both individuals and employers. 1E and the Alliance to Save Energy commissioned Harris Interactive to conduct surveys in the UK, US and Germany to show how organisations can easily cut energy costs and reduce their carbon footprint by better understanding user behaviour in the workplace.
Key statistics show that the environment is the main reason why 27% of UK workers power down their computers at the end of the workday compared to only 10% who cited this reason in the US. If the 17 million workers in the UK who regularly use a computer turned it off at night, it would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by approx 1.3 million tons, the equivalent of removing 245,000 cars from the road.
Other key report findings:
• Three in ten workers in the UK do not always power down when they have finished working for the day. If a UK business with 10,000 computers leaves them on all night for one year, it will cost £168,000 and emit 828 tonnes of CO2.
• The information and communications technology (ICT) industry generates 2% of the world's carbon emissions, equivalent to aviation industry. Of this 2% up to 39% is created by PC's and monitors.
UK vs. US
Number of workers who use a PC regularly as part of their job:
• US - 74% of employed adults (108 million employees).
• UK – 78% of employed adults (17 million employees).
Asked why they power down their computers at night:
• UK employees were the most idealistic in their responses, with 27 percent saying they power down PCs to help the environment.
• The most common reason given by US employees (21 percent) was practical - to ensure the proper functioning of their PC.
Asked whether their employers should be doing more, responses revealed:
• Both US and UK employees who use a PC at work believe their employers should be doing more to reduce their company's power consumption (63% and 67% respectively).
The simple step of powering down a PC can reduce a machine's energy use by 80 percent, allowing companies to save more than £26 per desktop PC.
"Powering down inactive PCs can provide a simple yet effective way for businesses to reduce overhead costs and environmental impact", said Kateri Callahan, president of the Alliance to Save Energy. "The economic crisis and volatile energy prices make it even more imperative for businesses to save money by saving energy."
"Employers today have a golden opportunity to demonstrate their environmental and financial leadership by taking a few simple, energy-saving measures, like setting up processes to power down PCs", said Sumir Karayi, chief executive officer, 1E. "A computer uses energy even when it appears to be idle. Shutting down PCs when not in use will help businesses to significantly reduce costs while preventing tons of CO2 from being emitted into our atmosphere."
Karayi added that most employed adults who use a PC at work believe that their companies should be doing more to reduce power consumption (63 percent in the US, 67 percent in the UK) – suggesting that power management initiatives would be welcomed by employees. In fact, a significant amount of workers believe that their companies should be doing much more to reduce power consumption in the workplace (30 percent in the UK, 24 percent in the US).
Setting an example: UK Department for Children, Schools and Families
The Department for Children, Schools and Families found that many of its PCs were being left on unnecessarily overnight and at weekends. As part of the target for all government offices to be carbon neutral by 2012, the Department is committed to reducing its carbon footprint and setting an example to others to advocate emission savings. The UK Government's central procurement department, the Office for Government Commerce (OGC), has selected the NightWatchman PC power management solution from 1E as part of its campaign to encourage the public sector to work smarter for the environment when using PCs. The campaign also ties into the Cabinet Office agenda for "greening" government IT. This pan-government framework will assist the switching off of PCs when not in use and could save up to £10.2 million and carbon emission reductions of up to 55,723 tons per year.
By enforcing the automatic powering down of PCs overnight and at the weekends, the Department has made the following savings:
• A reduction of 35,290 kg of CO2 emissions.
• A saving of 53,960 kW of electricity.
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