The Washington Times - June 2, 2009, 11:41AM

Even though I leave my home computer on 24/7, perhaps I shouldn’t, according to the company once known as Hewlett Packard, but now self-referring as HP. A statement from the firm’s PR agency argues for turning off computers at the end of the work day:

Computer power costs are the largest single contributing factor of overall IT energy costs.  US organizations waste US$2.8 billion every year powering 108 million unused computers which in turn are expected to emit 20 million tons of carbon dioxide this year. HP believes that everyone has the power to make small changes every day that can have a huge impact on the environment.

As such, HP today launched the Power To Change campaign, which encourages consumers to simply turn off their computers at the end of each day, and provides a downloadable widget so participants can track the positive environmental impact their changes are making.  The widget tracks a PC’s idle time and records whether it is switched off at the end of the day, and then calculates the potential amount of energy saved and carbon emissions reduced by users.   This allows users worldwide to watch and explore the energy savings the campaign generates through the power of simple behavioral changes across individual and global users.

HP estimates that if 100,000 users shut down their work computers at the end of each day, the energy savings and carbon emissions reductions is equivalent to eliminating more than 105 cars from the road every day. Besides encouraging users to download the widget onto their computers to remind them to turn it off at the end of every day, the Power To Change campaign also aims to educate people about the different ways to raise energy efficiency at the workplace and at home, and how they can make a difference to the environment.

More information about Power To Change and the downloadable widget are available at The Power To Change website features a host of informative and interactive activities where users can get updates on the success of the campaign and also receive interesting facts and figures on environmental sustainability.


My take: it’s a good idea and all, but as Kermit the Frog once said, “It’s not easy being green.” To wit, think of Citrix System’s GoToMyPC unit, which touts the ability to log into your office PC when on the road or at home, the better to access corporate networks and files. If you turn your computer off, that might be a problem, unless your files are on a network server.

And since HP sells servers and the like, I wonder how this’ll go over in all sectors of that firm, too.