In the developed world, we take for granted little things like electricity. But in April 2006 PC World ran an article entitled Save Money by Putting Your PC on a Power Diet. Here are a few of the choice excerpts:
“…just one computer and monitor can suck up nearly as much power in a year as a new refrigerator…”
“A typical 150-watt PC consumes about 876 kilowatt hours per year. At an electric rate of 10 cents per kWh, that’s $87.60 a year, before taxes and fees!”
“Your system draws almost as much power when it’s in standby mode with a screen saver…”
“By turning off your PC and peripherals when they’re idle, and by employing power management while they’re on, you can cut energy consumption dramatically. If you use your computer 6 hours a day, you could save 75 percent or more.”
Now, having quoted all that, most people probably already have power saving settings enabled on their machines. For example, I’m pretty sure that Windows now defaults to turning off the monitor and hard drives after a period of non-use. But it’s worth about $70 a year to take one minute to make sure it’s all set correctly.
Personally, I turn off my monitor after 10 minutes and my hard drives after 5 minutes of non-use. My machines stay on all the time, but by taking these measures I can run 4 machines for the cost of 1 without the power saving settings.