Cost of PC's left on?

  Janet-201707 14:30 28 Jan 2007

Here is one for you knowledgeable PC people.

I work at a school as a cleaner and at the end of my shift, when the school is closed, I am forever turning off the PC's that are left on
day&night/weekends/school holidays etc, and it really winds me up, given that it is the taxpayer who has to pay the bills for schools and such like. As we are now being told to stop leaving TV's, Digi Boxes, DVD players in standby mode, surely this must also apply to computers. I had a word with the deputy headmaster, who told me it costs more to turn them off daily, than to leave them on. Is this really true, or not? I would much appreciate an answer to this one, for I am considering contacting the environmental department of this government, to bring this situation to their attention, for I'll wager this is happening throughout the nation and contributing to 'Climate Change', and if so, totally unacceptable and irresponsible, but I don't want to look a 'birk', if I am incorrect and worrying needlessly.

Thanks for your help.


  ed-0 14:44 28 Jan 2007

Switching off will damage the PC or data?

No it won't. Switching off and switching on puts no significant strain on the PSU or components.


It will cost, on average, £9 extra per year in electricity bills for having just one computer on standby.

carbon footprint

it is estimated that the 1.7 million computers that are not switched off after use. Use 700,000 tons of Co2 emissions on standby. the equivalent to 120,000 Chelsea tractors or the exhaust emissions from a city the size of Liverpool.

Source. This months PC pro.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 14:45 28 Jan 2007

Switchng off certainly saves on power especially switching off CRT monitors.

If the PCs are put into hibernate mode then this is almost as good as switching off. (they would look as if they were off.

One thought is to leave them on to reduce the wear and tear on hard drives as they take the most damage when first spinnig up.

If screens are left on and PCs waiting to log on then they are using power hat should be saved.

  howard64 15:30 28 Jan 2007

bikerlady - as you are using this site I assume you are correctly shutting the pcs down not just switching the power off? Nowadays the hard drives are not really affected by switching on as the testing of new designs switches them on and off best part of 100 000 times. As with any equipment there will be the odd one that does not last the required lenght of time or MBTF [mean time between failures]. It is really a case of educating the people responsible. The one thing I would say is that be sure it is not a break between lessons as the cost of switching on is probably the same as the pc running for ten minutes or so. Fluorescent lights are a classic example they take 15 minutes of running time energy to start up. I always advise that if you think the fluorescent light will be switched on shortly leave it on.

  ed-0 15:37 28 Jan 2007

A worthwhile tool for those who wish to cut down on their electricity usage and be a bit greener.
click here

  Technotiger 15:54 28 Jan 2007

Hi, I hope you are aware that some programs may need the pc's to be on while they are running, and that this may mean being left on all night on purpose, for the programs to complete - you might inadvertently ruin hours of someone's work. Oooops!

  Janet-201707 16:41 28 Jan 2007


These PC's are mostly used by the students and are left with the screens ON, waitng for them to log on. There is one classroom that has 40 PC's, all of which are left on, in the same situation as just explained, 24/7. It is outside my area, so I have to exclude them from my mind, this is just one school, so is it any wonder we have 'Climate Change', with all this waste of energy. Some of these PC's are for the teachers use and occassionally left locked. OK! Those I will stop switching off from power switch.

But, from your feedback it certainly looks like the government needs this bringing to it's attention and all schools to behave in a responsible way, (saving the planet and the taxpayer)which I wish these 'students' would! Heaven help this world if tomorrows kidults, whoops! adults, don't change their behaviour. This school is bad! I didn't know what the F word was till I worked there. LOL


  Totally-braindead 16:52 28 Jan 2007

bikerlady this is slightly off topic but is about the government, local government in this case and power saving.
The local council is pushing everyone to save power and quite rightly so in my opinion. However it appears they are suffering under some sort of delusion in that they seem to believe the power saving does not apply to them.
About November the local people were very surprised to find the local monument on a hill overlooking our town all lit up and it has stayed lit up with blue coloured floodlights every night since.
To everyone I spoke to this came as a complete surprise, no one appeared to know the local council was doing this.
Its not ugly or anything but it is rather surprising in that they are pushing people to save power but are spending £10,000 to light up a monument for no apparent reason other than they could.

  Stuartli 17:03 28 Jan 2007

Perhaps, in view of your work, you should not be switching off the computer systems as it will be outside your remit.

  Janet-201707 17:11 28 Jan 2007

Hello Stuartli

I did bring this situation to the attention of another headmaster last yearm and while it is NOT in my remit, he too was disgusted and concerned that this situation existed and gave me permission to turn off any PC I came across, but he has now left.

Totally Braindead

Hey! You don't live in Lancashire do you?? The same thing has been done here also. Bonkers!!!!


  Belatucadrus 17:13 28 Jan 2007

click here would be well worth the IT persons attention.

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