Turn off your Computer! (but only when not in use)

While watching "Good Morning America" last week, I heard about a study commissioned by the Alliance to Save Energy and 1E analyzing how much power is wasted by companies whose employees don't turn off their computers when they leave for the day.  From the study report:

U.S. organizations waste $2.8 billion every year powering 108 million unused PCs.  In 2009, these unused PCs are expected to emit approximately 20 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions - roughly equivalent to the impact of 4 million cars.  As an example, for an organization with 1,000 PCs, this amounts to approximately $26,000 per year.

Maybe it is because I am relatively young and naive, but for the life of me, I can't understand why the CEOs, Presidents, accounting departments, etc. don't take a bigger stand when it comes to their employees wasting energy.  As a very logical person, I get so frustrated when confronted with illogical behavior.  If you're in business to make money, it isn't logical to waste money.

I realize part of the problem is that higher ups just aren't educated enough when it comes to energy saving methods.  But that is no excuse! Assign someone to be the office Energy Manager, and require them to get educated.  Don't ask employees to turn off computers and lights, DEMAND it.  Quit being nice when it comes to saving energy!

Companies generate profit two ways:  selling a product at higher margins or cutting their costs.  Why do people so often forget to capitalize on the fact that energy savings = cost cutting.

This isn't just for companies, but for homeowners as well.  For instance, if you have a child that always leaves lights, computers, or TVs on, here's an idea.  Stop asking them to turn off appliances when they aren't using them.  DEMAND IT!  Do you give them an allowance?  How about figuring out the cost of how much energy they wasted by not turning an appliance off, then subtracting that from their allowance.  I'm sure after this happens a few times, they'll get the big picture.

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I think it's mainly so the IT departments can install critical patches and updates.
Ryan, I think you may be right, but why leave them on all night? In the settings, you can set it so the computers come on at 6AM, then IT can update then. Or why doesnt IT just tell employees the night they are planning on installing updates? If IT is only installing updates a portion of the time (and not every single hour when employees aren't at work), why not make it company policy that IT only has employees leave computers on when absolutely necessary? It all boils down to management's efforts to reduce energy consumption. If management demands it, I'm sure IT can figure out a way to achieve it.

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