Even though it has been a standard part of business sustainability for a decade at least, many employees still think they don’t have to turn their personal computers off when they leave the office. They leave them on standby. This costs small- and medium-sized UK businesses somehwere around £30 million a day in electricity charges. Not to mention the carbon emitted to generate that electricity.
These are among the findings of a survey of 800 businesses by Trends Research on behalf of electricity company E.ON, as reported in this recent item on businessGreen. (E.ON sells a service called Business EnergyManager to address this problem.)
Of course there are millions of computers at home, or that employees take home, that are also on standby all the time that they are not being used. Not to mention game systems, TVs, and other electronics.
Somewhere someone is burning coal just to keep your laptop’s little light glowing while you sleep. Of course you might be the type of person who wakes up at 2am to check your email, and saving thirty seconds of boot-up time might be important at that hour.
E.ON says it costs 1 UK pence an hour to power a PC on standby. Those pence (and that carbon) can really add up. But if it only costs you eight pennies to be on standby over night, maybe you can afford it. Because it isn’t a big cost to you personally (£30 or the equivalent a year for a computer at home) you let that coal burn. On the other hand, that £30 could have bought a nice dinner, a tankful of gas, or a new game.