Leaving a computer and monitor on at night and weekends can cost you between $106-160 a year. My own work station’s (Macbook Pro and a second 17″ LCD monitor) total power consumption is 164 watts. Using some of the math I learned in university this translates into .164 kilowatt hours (kWh). If my workstation was on for 24 hours a day (it’s not) I would be using 3.96 kWh. However working hours really only last about 10 hours a day. If my workstation was left on overnight I’d be wasting 2.96 kWh.
I decided to figure out what my workstation’s carbon footprint and the cost of leaving it on overnight. Using Pacific Gas and Electric’s (PG&E) Carbon Footprint calculator I put in my monthly overnight wastage amount. This came out to 88.8 kWh per month wasted by being left on overnight. So how big is that carbon footprint? 558 lbs or roughly 28 gallons of gasoline. That’s a lot more than I thought it would be.
You may be thinking “so what about carbon foot print?” That 88.8 kWh translates into $8.88 per month at 10¢ per kWh. If you live in California the current average rate charged is 15.1¢ per kWh. That means 88.8 kWh now costs $13.41 per month (on average). Per year you would be looking at around $160.91 if you own a Macbook Pro and use a second (older) 17″ LCD monitor. Now this is just for one workstation and the cost only goes up the bigger the office. Try using Faronics PowerSave Calculator to see your potential savings in your office.
There are many solutions to reduce your carbon footprint and utilities costs. Your computers are a very cost effective and easy way to start. If you are forgetful of turning computers off at night there are software solutions for your home or office. Check your electrical provider for rebates on energy saving products (such as power bars or software!).
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