PC Power

PC Power

DoAction 19

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Adjust your computer powerDoers doing this DoAction have pledged to save: 2652 kg CO2

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In just 20 seconds you could improve your computers efficiency and lifespan, whilst cutting your fuel bills by £17 a year – that’s money you can save right now.


of energy used by computers is spent on running idle, not on actual computing1.

All you have to do to prevent this is change a few basic settings on your computer, so that the monitor turns off when inactive and the system goes into hibernate when not in use.


Climate change

Computers use electricity, quite a lot actually. Leaving a computer and its peripherals on when not in use wastes a lot of energy, resulting in totally unnecessary carbon emissions.

1/6th of all computers in the UK are never switched off at night or over the weekend, accounting for 700,000 tonnes CO22, equivalent to 150 space shuttle flights3.



By improving the energy efficiency of your computer you would save energy and as much as £17 from your electricity bill each year, right now.  Shockingly, a third of business computers in the UK are left switched on overnight, costing British businesses more than £300m a year in extra electricity bills4.

PC health

Regularly leaving your PC on when not in use affects the life-span of the computer. In fact, by managing the power settings more efficiently, you’ll prolong its battery life significantly.


It’s really very easy. Follow the simple instructions given below:

Mac users:

1. Go to Apple Menu > System Preferences > Energy Saver

2. Set the sleep timings to low (we recommend 2 mins for display, 10 mins for sleep)

3. Check the boxes next to ‘put the hard disks to sleep when possible’ and the display brightness options. 

4. If using a laptop, make sure you adjust settings for both power and battery states.

Windows users:

Microsoft offer some handy instructions for Windows 7, Vista, and Windows XP users.

Peripherals and the WiFi sensor also drain energy from your computer, so disconnect or turn them off when not in use.

Want to do this action? Head over to our list of Doers to find someone to pledge for.

Got other tips or great resources to share? Please email them over to us at

1 -

2 - - Report on energy saving with computing software

3 - Berners-Lee, M (2010) How Bad are Bananas?

4 - The