IT Power Management: Optimizing Power Consumption

Power Consumption

The following table shows values for power consumption of everyday computing:

Average Power Consumption of Personal Computers 1
  Powered On Powered Off
Desktop 140 watts 23 watts
Laptop 35 watts 3 watts




As the table demonstrates, simply shutting a computer off significantly reduces the amount of power necessary to sustain a computer. Although this fact may be completely obvious to most users, computers are often left powered on around the clock. This wastes countless amounts of energy, and, as a result, indirectly places a substantial burden on the environment that could be avoided by applying more environmentally-friendly computing practices.

Wattage Consumption

This table shows the previously discussed wattages applied over time:

Average Energy Usage of Personal Computers Over Time 2
  Powered on for 24 Hours Powered on For 8 Hours and Off for 16 Savings 
Desktop 3.4 kilowatt hours 1.5 kilowatt hours 55%
Laptop 0.84 kilowatt hours 0.33 kilowatt hours 60%




Aside from benefiting the environment, green computing can also benefit the personal computer user's wallet. The 2006 average price of electricity in the United States was 10.4 cents per kilowatt hour2. At this rate, desktop users can save an average of about 72 dollars, and laptop users can save about 20 dollars per year. 

Windows Vista allows users to customize power options or even create custom power plans in order to use less electricity when possible. Apple's Macintosh OS X also incorporates features such as Energy Saver, which allows users customize energy usage settings and even create schedules for powering the computer off or putting the computer to sleep.

1 Referenced from
2 Referenced from

5/7/2014 10:37:01 AM  

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