There are approximately 108 million desktop and laptop computers in use in commercial buildings in the US, with most PCs powered “On” at nearly equal levels day and night. This research was conducted to profile PC power usage 24/7 for selected businesses and institutions with distributed IT environments.
Prior work in this area is now several years old, and was based on in-person, after-hours power state audits. While this pioneering work in energy use measurement for office equipment demonstrated that significant energy savings could be achieved by putting inactive PCs to sleep at night, the majority of organizations today are not optimizing power savings tools.
This study provides the first large scale audit conducted by automated software agents running on desktop and laptop PCs, tracking usage second by second. The results of this study showed that PCs are “On” more than 90% of the time; in most cases well beyond actual client user demand for PC “On” time over the course of a day or week.
The study also demonstrates that organizations deploying a centralized, automated method of turning on PC operating systems power management features not only saved energy during evenings and weekends, but also saved energy during the workday.