Is it a problem to leave my PC on overnight?

On Friday night when we locked up the office we noticed that a number of PC’s had been left on in the hope that they would drift into a restfull hibernation themselves.

We all know that it is supposed to save energy to properly shut down your computer, therefore cutting costs for the company as well as doing something positive for the environment but does it really make any difference or is it just a load of waffle?

After a quick Google search I found a report by the National Energy Foundation that was looking into this habit and the effects of it:

It is worth a quick read to get all of the detail but for those who don’t have the time here is the summary:

  • About 40% of the UK population uses a computer at work
  • 18% of people habitually forget to shut down every day and at weekends
  • An additional 13% forget to shut down sometimes.

So what is the impact of this widespread ‘forgetfulness’?

  • For every person who habitually ‘forgets’ to shut down their PC there is an annual cost of £70 to the business.
  • The total additional CO2 emissions related to this issue is 700,000 tonnes annually – the equivalent annual emissions of 20,000 small family cars or a medium sized town such as Chesterfield.

If every single person shut down their computer overnight then we would be 10% of the way to achieving the governments carbon cuts target.

But on a more granular level it can have a major impact to your business and in the current economic climate saving £70 per employee per year is not an opportunity to be missed. it could fund a pretty good Christmas party if all in your employees played their part.

Do you have any suggesions for energy/cost savings from your office?


Do you leave your computer on at night?
I shut down when leaving the office.
I usually leave it on – easy start in the morning.
This poll closed on 01/10/2009

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