Reduce IT running costs using power saving on computersReduce IT running costs

Electricity usage is one aspect of IT running cost that is often overlooked. Setting power saving options on equipment will make a worthwhile saving over the life cycle of equipment and might make equipment last longer.

Leaving computers turned on 24 x 365 uses nearly 3.9 times as much power as turning them off when not being used.

Turning computers off when not in use, means that various support functions can’t be completed out of hours. Both automatic and manual updates, as well as software upgrades, are best done out of hours to avoid loss of productivity.

Wake on LAN

Wake on LAN (WOL) is the answer and allows a remote administrator to power-on machines for maintenance. WOL is controlled by a central computer or router and requires some configuration and testing.

Scheduled turn on would save staff time and therefore avoid productivity losses waiting for machines to boot. This is true if machines are booted a few minutes before the user starts work and is especially true when computers are doing significant updates when they boot.

Regular reboots have the additional benefit of reducing other problems and improving performance. Scheduled power-on options don’t typically allow setting bank and other holidays so machines could turn on during holiday periods.

Using smart POE switches and turning off VoIP phones out of hours will save power. These saving are small and would probably not be worth the effort but turning phones off during non-office hours avoids the risks of unauthorised staff making expensive personal calls or other phone fraud.


Turning computers off when not in use increases the life of the equipment and reduces hardware failures.

In some environments turning off equipment will also save on air conditioning costs.

Based on an average power cost 12.5p per kW/h and a computer using 100w. The difference between having the machine running for 9 hours on workdays compared to all the time is £81.38 per year. Multiply that by the number of computers and setting up power saving makes sense.

For help reducing your IT running costs

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