Report from 1E and the Alliance to Save Energy finds that organizations waste billions of dollars running idle computers

March 25, 2009

2009 PC Energy Report Quantifies Financial and Carbon Savings for Multi-Billion Dollar PC Power Waste Problem in the US, UK and Germany

London & New York, 25 March 2009 – According to an international study released today by software company 1E and the Alliance to Save Energy, nearly half of US workers who use a PC at their job do not typically shut down at night1 . The 2009 PC Energy Report, which examines workplace PC power consumption in the US, UK and Germany, found that US organizations waste $2.8 billion a year to power 108 million unused machines. In 2009, these unused PCs are expected to emit approximately 20 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, roughly the equivalent impact of 4 million cars.

1E and the Alliance to Save Energy commissioned Harris Interactive® to conduct the survey to raise awareness of a pervasive and damaging energy problem that can be quickly alleviated by simple, non-intrusive measures.

“Employers today have a golden opportunity to demonstrate their environmental and financial leadership by taking a few simple, energy-saving measures, like setting up processes to power down PCs,” said Sumir Karayi, chief executive officer, 1E. “A computer uses energy even when it appears to be idle. Shutting down PCs when not in use will help businesses to significantly reduce costs while preventing tons of CO2 from being emitted into our atmosphere.”

Green IT Practices Save Green

According to Gartner, every year the information and telecommunications technology industry generates 2% of the world’s carbon emissions – the same as a year’s worth of air traffic. Moreover, PCs and monitors account for 39% of these emissions, equivalent to the emissions of approximately 46 million cars.

“When examined individually, PCs may not appear to be the biggest energy hog in the IT environment, but when considering the sheer volume of PCs in the world – Gartner estimates more than 1 billion – the energy and carbon implications are staggering,” added Mr. Karayi.

In fact, worldwide PC shut-down for just one night would save enough energy to light New York City’s Empire State Building – inside and out – for more than 30 years.

Government and utility companies alike have recognized the benefits of shutting down PCs when not in use. In fact, in the US, all federal agencies are required to activate power management settings. Washington and Texas have enacted legislation that requires a power management plan to power down state agency PCs. Select utility companies around the nation offer rebates as incentives for organizations that use power management software.

An examination of user behavior

Almost half of the employees in each country surveyed2 (49% in the US, 48% in the UK and 43% in Germany) don’t always power down for the following reasons:

  • “it takes too long”
  • “I forget”
  • “to enable overnight software updates from the main server”
  • “it’s company or IT policy to leave it on”
  • “I access my PC remotely”

1 1E/Alliance to Save Energy survey conducted by Harris Interactive® in October 2008
2 1E/Alliance to Save Energy survey conducted by Harris Interactive® in September 2008

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