Failure to shut down costing UK SMEs millions daily – survey

2 Aug 2011

Small businesses in the UK could be spending more than £30bn daily as a result of leaving PCs on standby overnight, according to a new research from energy provider E.ON.

The utility company carried out the survey in July of 800 small and medium businesses in the UK.

It found that 39pc of these businesses do not regularly shut down their computers overnight, while only 20pc fully turn off their PCs at weekends.

Based on UK government estimates that there are more than 4.8m small and medium-sized businesses in the UK, which employ an average of 110 people, E.ON estimates that with 39pc of this amount not switching off work PCs and assuming an average stand-by time of 15 hours per night, charged at 1p per hour, this would run to more than £30m being wasted every day.

E.ON says one in 10 small businesses “wrongly” believe that leaving computers on standby uses the same amount of energy as shutting them down completely.

“Introducing small changes into the culture of your business, like turning equipment off fully at night, can have a significant financial impact on your energy bills,” said Iain Walker, head of business sales at E.ON.

E.ON says that small businesses in the retail sector are the biggest offenders for not powering down computers, with more than two-thirds admitting they do not shut down work computers at night.

Businesses in the UK’s agriculture sector were the most energy savvy, with 69pc saying they power down every night.

E.ON has developed a Business EnergyManager service so UK firms can receive information on fixed prices, as well as monitor the amount of electricity they consume.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic