Electric Shock!

We can guess what you are thinking: ‘Save hundreds of pounds per year? You are taking the proverbial.’ But it is true. Follow the advice in this feature – and it really is ridiculously easy to follow – and you will not only save money, but also help to ensure a greener planet.

Once you start adding up the figures, it quickly becomes clear how much money we all waste every day. Your inkjet printer, which spends 99 per cent of its time doing nothing, will cost you about £35 in electricity over its lifetime. As our tests show, a TV in standby mode demands up to 14W: that’s £12 wasted per year if you leave it on standby overnight.

But the killer is the PC itself: if you leave it on overnight it will quickly consume 1kWh of energy, meaning you are needlessly spending more than £35 per year. And do not think that putting it into standby will help: we found one PC that consumed 78W in this mode, only reducing the wastage to about £25.

We have not just grabbed these figures out of thin air. Over a 24-hour cycle, we have analysed the power consumption of a multitude of PCs, notebooks, printers and screens – both new and old. We have also turned our attention to the living room, to see how much TVs contribute to the annual electricity bill.

But the cost of IT is our main concern, and we have discovered that a typical home setup for a PC Pro reader (two PCs, one 19in CRT, one TFT and a shared inkjet) will cost nearly £250 per year alone. Even if you switch to standby, the cost is likely to be well over £100. If you do not believe us, try testing your systems yourself: you can tally up how much electricity each portion of your PC uses by buying a £20 wattage and current meter from www.machine mart.co.uk and plugging it into each plug socket.

Where things become truly frightening is in offices. It seems that in almost every office we visit the PCs are left on overnight, with printers, monitors and other peripherals going into standby mode at best: quite often, we see screensavers whirring away all night. Our conservative calculations suggest that a 50-person business could shave £5,000 off its annual electricity bill by implementing a switch-it-off policy.

Even this might not be enough to change your current power usage, but we all have a responsibility to use energy wisely. It is too easy to think that your one-minute effort will not make any difference, but if every PC Pro reader switched off their PC then we would instantly cut power demands by 15MW: 50 per cent more than the capacity of a small-to-medium power station.

That’s why we are beginning a nationwide campaign this month entitled ‘Switch IT Off’. We are encouraging system integrators to offer the OneClick power strip with their PCs, and we have teamed up with Eizo and Fujitsu Siemens to provide even more of an incentive. Turn to p151 and you will see that if you do your bit to save energy – and tell us about it – your name will be entered into our prize draw.

So read on to discover how much each aspect of your PC setup is costing you annually and, more important still, exactly how you can reclaim that lost money.

See next page for power saving details for your Desktop PC.

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