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What's the best way to save energy with home computers?

By FPL Expert

Asked on: March 26, 2012 by Vivian B., Delray Beach

Which is more energy efficient: completely shutting down the computer at night or not?  Please don't give the answer my husband wants!

The answer to your question depends on whether your computer’s sleep mode is activated. Both you and your husband could be right depending on how many hours a day you are at the computer. Setting a typical desktop computer to sleep mode will help save energy if you are away from it at least four hours a day. To maximize your energy savings, turn it off when you know you're finished. Sleep mode automatically puts your computer and monitor into a low power state if there has been no activity for a period of time. You can choose the number of minutes you are away from the computer before the sleep mode is triggered. Here’s how the different operating modes stack up: Not sure how to turn on your computer’s sleep mode? On a PC, you can find the sleep mode by going to Control Panel and selecting Power Settings. On a MAC, use the Options pane and go to energy-saving preferences. To save even more energy, use a smart power strip for your computer and computer accessories like printers, monitors and speakers. Smart power strips can detect if a computer is in sleep mode and can turn off attached devices when the computer is powered down. Visit FPL.com for more home electronics energy saving tips.

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Comments [18]

  1. Dulce

    I have been told that a PC monitor takes more electricity than the desktop unit itself? So would turning the monitor off even if PC is in sleep mode help lower power cost?

  2. Kathleen

    I turn off my computer every time I get out of the chair.
    Click on START
    Press the shift key and click on HIBERNATE.
    Everything goes to memory and all lights go out (but not the modem).
    Then I turn off the surge protector.
    When I want to get back on the computer, I turn on the surge protector and
    Press the button on the computer.
    It comes back up very quickly.

  3. Marsha Duvall

    Are there different types of smart power strip.
    I never thought there was such a big difference in usage!
    thank you for sharing this as I have shared this with others!

  4. Energy Management

    I have had set my PC to go on to sleep mode if there has been no activity on it for 30 minutes. My settings on the computer is also set to save more energy and I am using an LED monitor. It sure made a lot of difference!

  5. Gen Lotto


  6. Carlton Moore

    I leave my desktop pc on 27/7. I don’t see a significant increase in my FPL bill and my pc runs more efficiently that turning it off and on multiple times daily.

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  8. Gordon Energy

    Great info on how even the smallest thing can help save energy costs.

  9. Felicia King

    I found out it’s best to shut down my computer that to have it to go into sleep mode. Thanks for the the info.

  10. winston clark

    Thanks abounch for the great tips i wold have never known;)

  11. BJ Ezell

    Super post, especially found the graphic diagram and statistics helpful. I’ll be sure to post this on the screen of each desktop and laptop in our home. The differences between on, sleep, and off are significant. Let’s see how the family responds. I always put my own in sleep mode or turn it off (and plug it at night). Thanks again, a Valued Customer

  12. Michael Engelhardt

    Your answer on which position the computer is left standing is vague. I think what most people want to know, is How much power does a computer use turning on and off, then staying on for four hours, as apposed to if the computer is turned on for say 2 hours, and then put into sleep mode, or lastly, a computer that is turned on for one hour, turned off, turned back on after one hour for two hours, and then turned off. In short, how much power is used to turn on and off the computer as apposed to leaving it on in sleep mode.

  13. Harry Miller

    I have an internet phone. In order to make and receive calls 24/7, I have to leave the computer on 24/7. I do turn off the monitor (and have the monitor set to turn off after 10 minutes of no use). I may not be saving energy but I am saving significant dollars compared to AT&T.

  14. Save Energy

    Laptops are much more energy efficient than PC’s. An equivalent laptop is about 70% less power hungry!

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    You have useful suggestions on this site. This is a well thought out article that I have bookmarked for future reading. Have a great


    1. Save Energy

      Save energy at home, save the world.

  16. Davone

    Thanks abounch for the great tips i wold have never known.

  17. Haul it Louisville Guy

    A smart power strip. Thanks, you just saved me a couple buck a month. I should have thought of that.


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