Power-hungry PCs waste £61m in electricity

Large companies could make significant savings by adopting a 'green' strategy — not to mention the environmental benefits

The UK's 200 largest publicly listed companies are wasting more than £61m per year between them by opting for power-hungry PCs and not switching them off at the end of the day.

The research investigated the energy consumption of the top 200 UK listed companies, based on the number of traditional desktops they operate daily, and calculated the potential energy savings that could be made if these were replaced with more energy-efficient "green PCs".

The study — commissioned by Computacenter and Fujitsu Siemens Computers — claimed that adopting a "greener" desktop strategy and better working practices can deliver significant financial savings and reduce the environmental burden.

For example, company policies could encourage employees to switch off their computers when not in use, or install software to turn off all idle PCs out of office hours.

Around a third of employees don't bother switching off their PCs when they leave the office.

The 200 companies collectively waste in excess of £61m of electricity per year — around 2.8m kWh of energy. But by adopting green IT equipment and strategies they could each save £305,000 per year.

The largest of those 200 companies could save as much as £2m from their annual electricity bill, according to the study.

Ed Kenny, director of corporate hardware at Computacenter, said in a statement: "Our figures are conservative as they are based on PCs running at idle. Therefore, energy consumption on a day-to-day basis is actually likely to be significantly higher.

"Although technology can help companies realise cost savings and operational efficiencies, it is important that these are not achieved at the expense of the environment."