Report: U.S. companies waste $2.8B per year powering unused PCs

Both financial and environmental incentives should compel organizations to embrace PC power management

The United States took a step this week toward regulating GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions like carbon dioxide: The EPA has proposed that climate-warming GHGs pose a danger to human health and welfare, according to various reports.

The EPA's finding makes a report released today by 1E and the Alliance to Save Energy all the more significant: Unused PCs -- that is, computers that are powered on but not in use -- are expected to emit approximately 20 million tons of CO2 this year alone, roughly equivalent to the impact of 4 million cars. If that's not enough to compel companies to power down PCs after hours on weekends, consider this finding: U.S. organizations alone waste $2.8 billion annually to power 108 million unused machines.

[ Learn about the various approaches and benefits to PC power management. | Subscribe to InfoWorld's free weekly Green Tech newsletter. ]

On a more granular level, companies can save more (sometimes far more) than $36 per desktop PC per year through PC power management. Those savings can add up quickly, and in this economic climate, every dollar counts.

[ Learn more about the ROI of PC power management. ]

As noted by the report, titled "PC Energy Report 2009," select utility companies around the United States and Canada offer rebates as incentives to organizations that adopt PC power management software. They include Avista in Washington and Idaho, Austin Energy in Texas, Xcel Energy in Minnesota and Colorado, Oregon Energy Trust, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, Pacific Gas and Electric in California, and many others.

"PC Energy Report 2009," which also examines power management trends in the United Kingdom and Germany, is available for free.

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