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Monday, December 04, 2006

Turn Off Your Computer!!!

How much energy is wasted - and carbon dioxide emitted - due to business computers being left on overnight? According to an article in The Independent (UK) called "Office workers who leave computers on all night "add to global warming", an equivalent of over 200,000 tons of carbon dioxide - the same as about 120,000 SUVs - is wasted each year in Britain from people leaving computers on overnight.

The article also describes other "ghost power" users - i.e. appliances that use a significant amount of energy even when turned "off". This includes:
  • "Dishwashers - Dishwashers left on at the end of their cycle consume 70 per cent of the power used when they are running.
  • Television - The average television is left on standby for up to 17.5 hours a day. In 2004, Britain's 62 million television sets consumed about 8 per cent of their energy consumption in standby mode.
  • Washing Machines - Washing machines use just under 20 per cent of normal requirement on standby.
  • Tumble Dryers - Tumble dryers can use 38 per cent of normal power while waiting at the end of a cycle.
  • Lighting - Turning unnecessary lights off would prevent 375,000 tons of CO2 emissions and save £55m in bills. Other appliances with high standby use are cordless telephones, radios, and stereos."

There are many ways that you can help to reduce this amount of wasted energy.

  • Set up your Windows XP computer to standby and hibernate to save energy. See this website for instructions.
  • Unplug any appliances that are not being used.
  • Purchase a power strip that allows you to control computer peripherals (speakers, printers, etc.) so that they automatically turn off when the computer is off. I bought one from that has been working well so far.
  • Of course, when you are shopping for a new appliance, consider it's energy efficiency and buy EnergyStar whenever possible.

Little by little, we can make small reduction that compound to make significant progress! Aim for solutions that are automatic (like setting up your computer to standby and hibernate!).

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