Idle computers waste £300 million a year

UK businesses are wasting 300 million a year powering idle computers, according to a report released today.

Even with the huge utility bill, the UK was shown to be the leader of the field in environmentally friendly PC power, according to the annual PC energy report, commissioned by PC power management software specialist 1E and published by the Alliance to Save Energy.

The report showed that of the UK's 78 per cent of workers who use a PC, 27 per cent said that environmental concerns were a factor in turning off their PCs or monitors when away from their desks for a significant time.

While 27 per cent may not sound much, only 17 per cent of US people surveyed said they had environmental concerns about powering down - with just 10 per cent in Germany citing green reasons.

In a separate survey conducted in 2008, just 50 per cent of workers in the US shut down their PCs. In Europe, that figure was slightly higher at 54 per cent. However, they are much better at saving energy at home with 78 per cent Britons and 63 per cent of Germans thinking green at home.

That said, 63 per cent UK employees and 67 per cent of US employees do however believe that their employers should be doing more to reduce power consumption.

Sumir Karayi, chief executive of 1E, said: "Employers today have a golden opportunity to demonstrate environmental and financially astute thought leadership by taking a few simple energy-saving measures, such as setting up processes to power down PCs."

"Everyday that passes is a lost opportunity to save money and reduce your carbon footprint."

Click here to read our top ten green tips for IT.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.