turning off p.c at night..does it save on your electric bill?

GGW Laurie

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In the Beautiful South !!
Save Money by Watching the Watts
By Tom Mainelli, PC World
Monitoring the power that my gadgets suck up, and making a few changes, helped me to be greener--and cut my bills.

We use a lot of electricity at my house, a drawback to being technology obsessed. In the interest of going at least a little bit greener, I set out to measure (and to reduce, I hoped) the power usage of my various home-office computers and peripherals during a typical workday. What I discovered was, uh, shocking.

To begin my testing, I picked up the Kill A Watt from P3 International, a $21 product that lets you measure the amount of power a given device uses. Then I perused my $75 electricity bill and discovered that the power company charges me roughly 11 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for the first 333 kWh we use per month. (I also learned that the price per kWh goes up slightly for the next 100 kWh we use, and then it rises dramatically once we pass the 433-kWh mark--which we commonly do.) Armed with my new gadget and a little pricing knowledge, I headed for the power strips under my desk.

The good, the bad, the insatiable
My company-provided Dell notebook sips responsibly from the power trough, consuming an average of 29 watts while in use and 20 watts with a dark screen (now set to occur after five minutes of inactivity). Standby pulls a mere 1 watt, and powered off it's a perfect 0. When I work at home, I use the notebook to monitor my e-mail, and the screen is dark half the time. I then shut it down after a nine-hour workday. In the end, I'm happy to pay roughly 2 cents a day to run this notebook.

My home-built desktop shows less restraint, drawing an average of 145 watts during typical use (though heavy video-card use can cause that number to spike up to 100 watts higher). In standby the unit pulls 6 watts; turned off, it still draws 3 watts. In the past I rarely powered it down, so I paid about 38 cents per day ($140 per year). Now I set the PC to enter standby mode after 25 minutes, and I shut it down at night, which should cut my cost by roughly half. My savings fall short of those from the Energy Star 4.0-rated "Green PCs" that the PC World Test Center saw recently, but they're a start.

I run two 22-inch flat-panels. One is an Acer that draws 37 watts while in use and 0 watts in standby and off; the other, a Westinghouse, pulls 43 watts while in use, and 1 watt in standby and off. For a nine-hour day with no standby, the cost is 8 cents. By setting the monitors to go dark after 10 minutes of inactivity and by turning off any power-wasting screen savers, I expect to keep my cost here at under $30 per year.

My other two must-run devices are my Scientific Atlanta cable modem (6 watts) and my Netgear router (4 watts). With various devices accessing these 24/7, I'm willing to pay roughly 3 cents per day to run them continuously.

I'm less inclined, however, to feed my Klipsch speakers and HP all-in-one printer continuously. Idle, the printer pulls 12 watts, and even in power-saving mode (or off) it sucks down 6 watts. Worse, the speaker rig draws 16 watts when silent, goes up slightly at moderate volumes, and rises a bit more at concert-level decibels. But the power switch is virtually inaccessible, and I never turn them off.

So I attached a power strip to the underside of my desk--where I can easily access the power switch--and plugged in the printer and speakers. Now both pull 0 watts until I decide to use them.

No change proved particularly difficult--we'll talk about my power-guzzling, always-on home server another time--but every little bit helps. It feels good to be a bit more green, and to save a little green on the power bill.................................only way to save money on my p.c is to quit online gambling:D..........................laurie:)
 

lojo

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I've often wondered if there was a product like this:
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but most appliances have a tag on them showing the power usage... I argue w/ my gf all the time

her: turn off that light
me: it's a hundred watt bulb... every ten hours it costs six cents, I like to live in the light... how about you put on a sweater and turn off that baseboard heater it's like 25 light bulbs burning at once
her: you don't know
me: do to
her: do not
me: no huh

If I get her a kill a watt, she'll think it's her idea!
 

Mousey

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Up$hitCreek
Well, we live in the dark because we want our PCs on all time. :D

Standby on this Vista is a PITA to wake up with sometimes resulting weirdities requiring reboot after standby, so I leave it on. Hubby's XP is the same. I did try powering off my 24" flatscreen when I leave for work and again when going to bed. But the monitor started acting all hinky when I would power it back on, so now I just go blank screen and leave the damn thing on all the time.

We did replace every lightbulb in the house w/florescent. Took a while but I finally got used to seeing my slightly gray/green face every morning while I brush my teeth. :rolleyes:
 

winbig

Keep winning this amount.
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Oh the irony.....

Spending $20+ for something that tells you you're spending .06 every 10 hours to keep your monitor on....:D
 

lojo

Banned User - repetitive violations of <a href="ht
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Oh the irony.....

Spending $20+ for something that tells you you're spending .06 every 10 hours to keep your monitor on....:D

Funny huh? Did you see some of their other products? camera detectors... motion sensor glowing rocks for your garden... all kinds of cool stuff now I'm going to have to go see if DAK is still online, or browse edmundscientific for awhile:p

edit: DAK Lives!!!
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second edit: but his stuff sucks now :(
 

NoMouthToScream

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USA
Compact fluorescents are also really great for lighting. On another note, gamble less, use the money you don't lose and put it to your electric bill. :D
 

GGW Laurie

Paleo Meister (means really, really old)
Joined
Jun 16, 2006
Location
In the Beautiful South !!
Oh the irony.....

Spending $20+ for something that tells you you're spending .06 every 10 hours to keep your monitor on....:D
................true, just a few facts from hubby jim who is a master electrician (1) keeping your pc at a constant temp , electrical control boards and motor will give longer life to the pc, turning it off and on lessens the life span. (2) use timer on electric hot water heater, have it set to shut off at bedtime and to come back on 1 hour before getting up, you will not be maintaining hot water all night and the water in the tank will not get cold if you use a heater blanket the total cost $6.00 (3) programable thermostat for heating and air unit $100.00 why keep it cool or hot if your not home (4) in the winter use your ceiling fans to help bring down the warm air rising, rotate your ceiling fans in the winter.(5) always have battery back -up smoke detectors installed if poss. saftey is no.1 when it comes to house fires.imo, any smoke detector is better than none at all. just a few things that might save on your electric bill that you may not be aware of........................laurie:)
 

winbig

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(1) keeping your pc at a constant temp , electrical control boards and motor will give longer life to the pc, turning it off and on lessens the life span.
This is soooo true. Excessive heat can lessen the life of computer components significantly. I just built a new rig here at home ($1200), which included a $125 water cooling system. I figured if I'm shelling out a large sum of money for this system, I might as well go all out and keep it as cool as possible ;)

I usually keep my computer running 24/7/365, but I kept it off when I was sleeping the first few nights after I built it.....I'm the paranoid type, and was afraid that the thing would spring a leak and burn my apt. building down when I was gone/sleeping...:D

I love the thing though. If the water pump fails, or the water level gets too low for any reason, it starts beeping then immediately shuts the computer off. Otherwise, the whole system would fry :lolup:

Stability? You be the judge ;)
 

BingoT

Nurses love to give shots
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Dec 16, 2004
Location
Hartford,Ct
You can even save more money by turning off the heat :lolup:
And go to a better source "Body Heat"
And with the money you save you can leave the PC on all the time.:D

Internal Body Heat Exchanges: Circulatory Convection


Circulatory convection is the transfer of heat by bulk flow of blood. Heat produced in the different tissues is transferred to the blood, mixed in the central circulation, and distributed throughout the body. Warmer tissues are cooled and cooler tissues are warmed. Temperature differences within the body are minimized and an essentially uniform core body temperature is achieved.
 

happygobrokey

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i love being a homoiotherm :thumbsup:
 

kwblue

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Very interesting thread! I'll share a VERY recent story about power usage...

I have worked out of my home office for a number of years now (more than 10) and at one point implemented a work server (Server-grade PC). I have noticed for a while that my bill during the winter was much larger than most people's bills, but the summertime bill seemed normal as I have a swimming pool and the motor and heater cause higher bills.

NOW - I decided, as a test, to shut off my server for awhile (this is a redundant power supply, multiple fan, SCSI drive server - pretty powerful overall). I NEVER thought it would create a difference, but over the last 2 months the differences are staggering:

Last year: $550/month bill - This year $375/month bill (month 1)
Last year: $475/month bill - This year $330/month bill (month 2)

Yes, this server is costing about $150 / month to run. It is now shut down and will not run again :) AND - it was colder this year, so the bill should have been higher, but the electricity well outweighed the gas bill (even though I have baseboard, hot water, heat)


I keep a little better track of my PC usage now.
 

GGW Laurie

Paleo Meister (means really, really old)
Joined
Jun 16, 2006
Location
In the Beautiful South !!
Very interesting thread! I'll share a VERY recent story about power usage...

I have worked out of my home office for a number of years now (more than 10) and at one point implemented a work server (Server-grade PC). I have noticed for a while that my bill during the winter was much larger than most people's bills, but the summertime bill seemed normal as I have a swimming pool and the motor and heater cause higher bills.

NOW - I decided, as a test, to shut off my server for awhile (this is a redundant power supply, multiple fan, SCSI drive server - pretty powerful overall). I NEVER thought it would create a difference, but over the last 2 months the differences are staggering:

Last year: $550/month bill - This year $375/month bill (month 1)
Last year: $475/month bill - This year $330/month bill (month 2)

Yes, this server is costing about $150 / month to run. It is now shut down and will not run again :) AND - it was colder this year, so the bill should have been higher, but the electricity well outweighed the gas bill (even though I have baseboard, hot water, heat)


I keep a little better track of my PC usage now.
... very interesting:thumbsup:
 

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