According to a study released by 1E, a provider of power management solutions, and the Alliance to Save Energy, nearly 62.4 million corporate PCs are left on during evening and weekend hours at offices across the United States, adding up to more than $1.72 billion and almost 15 million tons of CO2 wasted yearly.

The main reason, cited by the study, why people fail to shut down their PCs at the end of a working day is because they assume their IT departments need their machines to be left on overnight in order to deploy security patches and software updates. Others believe a sleep or hibernation mode automatically kicks in. Furthermore, an alarming number of respondents admitted that they just don't care.

A mid-sized company wastes more than $165,000 a year in electricity costs for computers that have been left on overnight. By turning these computers off, an employer can keep more than 1,381 tons of carbon dioxide (C02) out of the atmosphere. Says the report.
According to the study, preventing that amount of CO2 from reaching the atmosphere would have more or less the same impact as taking 2.58 million passenger cars entirely off the road. The adoption of energy-efficient practices and technologies are becoming increasingly popular as concerns over greenhouse gas emissions linked to global warming grow.

Recently, Intel and Google launched The Climate Savers Computing Initiative, aiming to make computers 50 percent more power efficient by 2010 and cut computer-based CO2 emissions by 54 million tons per year. 1E suggests a different approach to the same problem, by merely adopting the appropriate tools to enable companies to set PCs and monitors power down when not in use and remotely awoken if they need to be patched, and be ready for use when users return to the office the next day.