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Craig Muccio

About "Ask the Energy Expert"

Craig Muccio runs FPL's Conservation Research & Development Program and crunches the numbers to figure out how you can save by managing your energy use.

Your questions on energy-related topics can be submitted anytime to our Ask the Energy Expert blog. Just click here to submit your question, and if chosen, it will be answered here

Turning computers off vs. sleep mode

By Craig Muccio

Asked on: March 26, 2014 by Anastasia R. from Venice, Fla.

What saves the most money? Putting my computer in sleep mode, or turning it off and on when I need it?

Every dollar counts when you’re trying to save money. That’s why we recommend you turn off your computer when you are not using it. Another best practice is to activate the sleep mode on your computer and monitor. These features can help you save money and are easy to implement.

Cost comparison
So what if you left your computer on 24 hours a day, 365 days a year? Here’s approximately how much it would cost:

  • Powered on: $89 per year
  • Sleep mode: $20 per year – nearly a $70 savings

These estimates are based on one desktop computer with an LCD screen. Laptops actually use less energy.

Myth busted
A question we often get is whether or not it costs more money to power a computer back up after turning it off. Generally, the extra savings you get from turning your computer off far outweigh the extra power used when starting it up the next time it’s needed.

Everyday tips
Here are some general guidelines for the most-efficient computer use:

  • Turn off the monitor if you are not going to use your computer for more than 20 minutes.
  • Turn off both the computer and monitor if you are not going to use your computer for more than 2 hours.

Visit energy.gov for more energy-efficient computer recommendations. We can also help you find ways to save in your home just by taking our free Online Home Energy Survey.

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