Thursday, 26 March 2009

PC power waste

1E and the Alliance to Save Energy have released the latest version of the PC Energy Report, based on a survey by Harris Interactive. The research covers the US, UK and Germany and you can see the reports for each country here.

When asked why they power down at the end of the day, the most significant differences were between the numbers citing environmental reasons. This was much more the case in the UK (27%) compared with 17% in Germany and just 10% in the US. In the US, though, significantly more people seem to believe that powering down is necessary for the proper running of a PC. I'm not sure why that is, but at least it achieves the same end.

In terms of why they don't power down, there was less divergence between countries. The main reasons were that other people use the PC (c20%), it automatically goes into sleep mode (c18%) and it takes too long (15%).

The report found that the proportion of the workers in each country using PCs was similar - 74% in the US, 78% in the UK and 79% in Germany, equating to 108 million people in the US, 17 million in the UK and 31 million in Germany. (I have some serious reservations about these employee numbers - 78% of the UK workforce must be higher than 17 million in a population of 60 million plus).

Anyway, the reports also estimate the cost to each country of not powering down; $2.8bn to the US, £300m to the UK and €919m to Germany. So if you convert the currencies and use the employee estimates in the report it means that in the UK and the US each employee that uses a PC will waste $26 in electricity in 2009, whilst in Germany the figure is $40 (mainly due to the higher cost of electricity in Germany).

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