Do you have the power to turn off your computer (or computers) at night? Are you like me and put your computer on standby so when you get up you have quicker access to your daily morning routine of checking e-mails? I have no excuses really, my computer is starting to run like a snail and it’s more convenient for me to keep it powered on then waiting for it to get up and running. I know it is using power, even in standby, but I wonder how much I could actually save by turning it off each night?

I can’t be the only one, right? Well, I’m not. Leaving PCs on overnight costs companies $2.8 billion a year, in the United States alone! Just imagine if we were able to extrapolate that number to every household? I couldn’t even imagine what that number would be. Maybe we need to have Earth Hour every night!

So what kind of impact do all these inactive, but powered on computers have at the workplace? With about 20 million tons of carbon dioxide emitted from the computers, it is equivalent to an extra 4 million cars on the road! The USA Today also reported that half of the 108 million PCs in the United States are not powered totally down at night according to the 2009 Energy Report produced by the 1E group.

According to 1E, if a company with 1,000 PCs would shut down their machines down every night, it would save the company over $26,000 per year at the current energy prices. By using those numbers, you could assume that with two computers on at home running overnight, it would consume an extra $52 per year. Taking this study even further, having your computer on while at work, you could could be adding a few more dollars to your monthly electric bill, easily!

It starting to make me think twice about leaving our computers on at night. Of course, there are times we do turn them off, but we don’t make any conscious decision to do so. I’ll be happy to save an extra $50 bucks a year (at least), thank you very much!  That’s an easy frugal tip for everyone!

I’m happy to say though, that my company does implement a power down plan. Our machines will automatically shut down machines at 6:00 p.m. and automatically power them back up at 7:00 a.m. I like it when our IT department is one step ahead of the game!

So do you leave your computer on at work? What about at home?

Stupidly Yours,

Matt