How to save money on your energy bills with IT
With the energy crisis front of mind for every business in the country it can be a valuable exercise to look at places where costs could be reduced. One of the areas to consider is the way that IT equipment and IT solutions are currently used within your business.
There are few businesses that can operate without any IT and technology whatsoever, and in most cases IT is an absolutely essential part of operations. Because of this, the usage of IT is rarely questioned from an energy consumption point of view because it provides such a benefit overall to a business.
However, as energy prices continue to grow this in an area that should be looked at, and all options considered.
How much energy does your IT system actually use?
Although it’s hard to work exact figures for a business, average consumption estimates can provide us with a guide of energy usage and therefore costs. A typical PC uses approximately 100 watts of electricity, which is 0.1 kWh, resulting in a cost of around 16.8p per day based on 8 hour usage and the current price cap for businesses of 21.1 p/kWh on fixed tariffs. This could be as high as 59.5 p/kWh however for those on deemed, default and variable tariffs.
Taking the best-case scenario (fixed tariff) the energy cost of running a single PC, at the time of writing, is approximately £43 for the year for a Monday-Friday business.
Multiply this by the number of devices in your business, add on the costs of a sever (or two, or three) at approximately £1095 per year as well as all of the equipment used to run your IT network, and you end up with a significant cost which is almost certainly double (or more) than previous years.
What can you do you reduce your energy bills through IT?
Reducing energy costs related to your IT system is only ever likely to be a secondary consideration, with the main concern focusing on the other benefits your IT system provides you. We’ve made three suggestions below which will have a little impact on the benefits of your IT system, or could even have a positive impact on the way you work…
- Turn off your devices
How much does it cost to leave a PC on standby? Although the cost of leaving devices on standby isn’t huge, it can add up. This is unlikely to make a huge difference but if you “look after those pennies” then “the pounds will look after themselves”!
EU legislation means that any new appliances are limited to 1 watt when left in standby and would therefore cost around £1.50 per year (on a fixed tariff), per device if left on standby when not being used.
Despite the relatively small saving, there is a huge benefit of shutting down your device each evening though.
As the old IT saying goes “turn it off and turn it on again”. Whilst this isn’t a cure for all IT issues, we estimate that around 25% of all IT issues that are raised with us could be resolved (at least in part) with a restart! The process of restarting a PC or laptop helps with the health of the device on a daily basis, reducing the change of “niggling” issues and also helping with the speed of the device too. As a result, we strongly advise restarting your device each day, or even better turn it off at the end of the day and start it up in the morning.
If you feel that the process of restarting devices could help your organisation but would prefer for the process to automated then we can help with this too, just get in touch and we’ll explain how this can be done.
- Utilise The Cloud
Depending on how many servers you have, the cost of running them could be significant, so considering if it is the most efficient and effective way to manage your IT system is a worthwhile exercise.
The additional costs of air conditioning, backups, NAS drives, networking equipment and even the physical space itself are not even considered in our £1,095 per year estimate (further up in this article) and by utilising a cloud server provider you’ll benefit from the economies of scale a data centre has and remove these expenses from your own premises.
Please note: Never apply point one to your servers, turning them off at the end of day may save power but it would cause many more issues!!
- Use laptops instead of PCs
In most cases laptops are twice as efficient as PCs from an energy point of view, using half as much energy and costing around £21.50 less per year to run than a PC. Not only will this help to reduce energy consumption within your office, but it will also allow your team to work from other locations, increasing flexibility and supporting remote working opportunities.
If you need any help with your IT system, are considering upgrading your devices or moving to the Cloud, then please get in touch, we have offices around the country including Hull, Peterborough and Scunthorpe