How IT Load Is Inflating Your Energy Bills

Every year, technology is growing in power. This doesn’t only apply to how much we get out of technology. The more power technology requires, the more we will have to spend on it.

How IT Load Is Inflating Your Energy Bills

If you have various computers running in your home for the majority of the waking day, you may not have thought about the strain it’s putting on your energy bills.

And, although we all know it costs something to power anything that requires electricity in our homes, not a lot of people understand the amount of energy their PC or workstation uses. 

When looking into your IT load, you may find that the costs to operate such equipment are higher than they should or need to be. This is why you should try to at least estimate, or calculate, how much energy your IT load is using.

Whether you have a business or simply use certain devices for personal use at home, knowing this may help you decrease your energy bills. 

Today, we are going to discuss how your IT load may be affecting your energy bills. With bills on just about everything rising at the moment, finding ways to lower personal costs should be a priority.

And, hopefully, after today’s article, you will be in a better position to cut back on your computer load’s energy use. 

The Amount Of Electricity A PC Uses

Since the pandemic began, millions of people have started working from home. Although this has significantly cut commuting costs for many, the energy bills for these individuals have skyrocketed.

While their home used to be empty for eight hours a day in the past with little to no energy being used, they now run computers, phones, and other devices all day long.

And, with the rising energy prices worldwide, the high bills have started to become a serious issue for many.

If you work from home, or browse the web for hours a day, then you will be using quite a lot of energy to power your PC.

Below are some statistics from Mr. Electricity, stating how much energy PCs and laptops use when powered. 

  • A standard desktop computer tends to use 60 to 250 watts.
  • A standard laptop typically uses approximately 12 to 45 watts when being run. This is much less than your typical PC.
  • When in a sleep or standby mode, a desktop computer uses between 1 and 6 watts. This is considerably less than leaving it run on high-power all the time. The good news is that a PC that is kept in its sleep mode will not have much of an impact on your energy bills. In fact, everyday household appliances, such as refrigerators, tend to use more energy than a PC in sleep mode. 

A Computer Monitor’s Energy Use 

Many people forget that their PC’s monitor also requires power. Therefore, it consumes energy, resulting in rising energy bills. But, how much energy do monitors actually consume? Let’s take a look:

  • LCD monitors that are 17 inches to 19 inches tend to use around 19 to 40 watts.
  • LCD monitors that are between 20 inches and 24 inches typically use between 17 and 72 watts.
  • CRT monitors (those old, bulky, large types) that are 17 inches to 19 inches use approximately 56 to 100 watts. This is significantly more than standard LCD monitors.
  • A monitor that is in sleep mode only uses 0 to 15 watts.
  • A switched off monitor typically consumes 0 to 10 watts. 

As you can see, a monitor uses a lot less energy than a PC, but when left on all day, every day, they will have some effect on your energy bill.

Finding Out Your Annual Energy Cost

Finding Out Your Annual Energy Cost

By studying the estimates of energy use we have set out above, you can figure out how much energy your IT load may be using. Once you have done this, you can determine your yearly energy costs. The best formula for this is:

  • (The number of Watts used x 8,760) / 1,000) x cost per kilowatt-hour

The final figure can help you understand if you need to cut back on your IT load, or if it isn’t really affecting your energy bills at all.

There are a number of factors that affect the amount you pay for running a PC and other computer devices yearly. Some of these are:

  • When a computer is being used, or simply ready to use, it will consume more energy.
  • When a computer is on standby or in sleep mode, it consumes less energy.
  • Desktops use much more energy than laptops. So, if you can, use a laptop as much as possible to save on your energy costs.
  • PCs consume more energy than Macs.
  • The faster your processor is, the more energy it will use.
  • If a computer is heavily used, such as older versions, will typically use more energy than those that are used less often.
  • If your computer is connected to the internet, it tends to use up more electricity than those that are kept offline. 

Server Units Costs

Although your IT load can have a huge impact on your energy bills, it is nothing compared to server units. In general, servers will use up much more energy than a typical desktop computer.

A server also gives off a lot more heat, so needs to be cooled down constantly to work sufficiently. Therefore, many offices and businesses require air-conditioned server racks or closets. This drives the energy costs up significantly.

Virtual servers can replace physical servers, however. Not only can these be cheaper to run, but maintenance will also be less time-consuming and not required half as much. Time saving and money saving – that’s always a good combo.

In Summary 

Understanding how much energy your IT load and other technology uses can help you cut down on energy consumption and costs. Therefore, you can spend that money on something else or save up for a rainy day.

Joe Danner

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