Shuting down PCs at night could save billions

1e-pc-energy-reportAn article on TreeHugger caught my attention as it explained that half US employees – and similar figures in other countries – don’t turn off their computers at the end of their work day. The potential savings are impressive.

In America: $2.8 billion, in the United Kingdom $420 million and Germany $1.2 billion. That’s right, turning off computers at night in these three countries alone could save $4.4 billion per year.

As more and more companies are willing to cut costs and outgreen their competitors, it’s high time to switch off both lights and computers at night.

I wonder how much electricity is wasted by companies at night as they leave their lights and computers on. I guess it would account for billions of dollars / euros around the world.

I haven’t found any exact figure on the phenomenon but it seems still many companies leave their lights on at night. A simple and horrific waste.

The only estimate I found mentions a minimum of ten percent of the total electricity of  the United States:

My guess, based on all of the data I’ve seen, is that at least ten percent of all power used by commercial buildings in the US is wasted and wasted in ways that would be fairly easy to fix.

(…) Ten percent doesn’t sound like much, but it translates to hundreds of power plants that are running but don’t need to be. It’s that much more oil to import and that much more carbon into the atmosphere. It’s billions of dollars of money wasted on electricity that doesn’t do us any good.

This is probably underestimated as an 2007 article from the New York Times mention 28 percent of potential savings in the United States. Now that means a lot of money!

The induced emissions reductions would be fantastic as dozens of coal-fired plants could be shut down around the world.

To conclude this article I would like to present you an image of the business district of Paris La Défense at night. It’s staggering !


No wonder astronomers don’t have dark skies anymore! It’s high time companies and governments alike start thinking about that. They have all the good reasons to do so as soon as possible.

2 thoughts on “Shuting down PCs at night could save billions”

  1. Pingback: The huge potential savings of small changes :: Sustainable development and much more

  2. Pingback: France Unveils Measures to Decrease Energy Use - CleanTechies

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