Saving electricity with one’s home PC

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With the very real threat of brown-outs, if not complete black-outs in not just the Tokyo area but Nagoya too, saving electricity is a commonly-heard term, with the government setting a 15% cut as a target, people are looking to even cut down electricity use of their home computers, the subject of a recent survey from goo Research and reported on by japan.internet.com.

Demographics

Between the 9th and 13th of May 2011 1,088 members of the goo Research monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 52.3% of the sample were male, 16.1% in their teens, 18.2% in their twenties, 21.4% in their thirties, 16.2% in their forties, 15.8% in their fifties, and 12.3% aged sixty or older.

I do just all of the PC power-saving activites except for turning off my router, as it is built-in and hidden in a box in the back of a cupboard.

Talking of power-saving, at work we’ve been asked to ensure our computers are set to go into standby mode after 30 minutes of inactivity, and I saw that Panasonic are releasing a power management utility for their Let’s Note portable computer range that will force a plugged-in computer to switch to battery power at predefined times, to reduce the load over peak hours.

Research results

First, the sample was asked if they were being aware of saving electricity, and 69.9%, or 760 people said they were. These 760 people were asked the following question:

Q1: Which of the following are you doing to save electricity regarding your home computer? (Sample size=760, multiple answer)

 VotesPercentage
Power down when not in use47162.0%
Unplug when not in use25133.0%
When leaving plugged in, use standby or hibernate mode22329.3%
Only switch on modem, router, etc when using the internet13918.2%
Other111.4%
None of the above8411.1%

Presumably the 84 above included a few who did not have a home computer.

When asked about what other home electrical item-related economising they did, the three most popular activities were taking care to switch off lights in unused rooms with 607 doing this, 459 people only plugging in the television when watching it, and 251 people only plugging in their videos or DVDs when actually using them.

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