Laptops & Computers in the Office: Energy Consumption and Efficiency Tips

Computers are a mainstay in modern offices, powering a wide range of tasks from data analysis to creative design. However, these essential devices are not without their drawbacks, particularly when it comes to energy consumption. This not only has implications for operational expenses but also impacts the environment. In this blog post, we’ll explore the energy consumption of laptops and computers in the office, investigate energy-efficient options, and offer tips on how you can reduce your energy usage.

How Much Energy Do Laptops and Computers Use?

The energy consumption of computers varies based on their specifications and how they are used. A standard desktop computer consumes approximately 65 to 250 watts, while a laptop is more energy-efficient, using around 15 to 60 watts (Energy Saving Trust, UK).

Quick Fact: A computer left on all day can cost about £57 per year in electricity bills, assuming a power rate of £0.15 per kWh and an average usage of 200 watts.

Energy-Efficient Models

If you’re in the market for new computers, look for models that have received ENERGY STAR certification. According to the European Commission, these computers are 30-65% more energy-efficient than computers without this certification.

Energy-saving tip: You can also check the EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) rating, which includes European criteria for assessing the energy efficiency and environmental impact of a computer.

Solid-State Drives (SSDs) vs Hard Disk Drives (HDDs)

Solid-State Drives are more energy-efficient than traditional Hard Disk Drives. SSDs typically consume between 2-4 watts as compared to 6-7 watts for HDDs (AnandTech).

Energy-saving tip: Opting for computers with SSDs offers better performance and energy efficiency.

Tips for Reducing Energy Consumption

Use Power-Saving Modes

Make the most of the power-saving modes on your computers and monitors. Most modern operating systems come with energy management features that can significantly cut down on electricity usage when the computer is not in use.

Turn Off When Not in Use

Encourage your employees to turn off their computers at the end of the working day. Computers that are left running 24/7 can consume a surprising amount of electricity over a year.

Opt for Laptops When Possible

If a job role doesn’t strictly require the capabilities of a desktop computer, a laptop is generally a more energy-efficient option. Laptops also offer the added benefit of being portable.

Reduce Screen Brightness

Lowering the screen brightness can result in energy savings and may even be easier on the eyes.

Unplug Accessories

Accessories like speakers, webcams, and phone chargers also consume power when plugged in, even if they’re not in use.


Computers are indispensable in modern office settings, but their energy consumption can be a concern. Understanding your computers’ energy footprint is the first step towards cutting down on both your energy bills and environmental impact. By choosing energy-efficient models, utilising power-saving settings, and promoting good energy habits among your staff, you can make significant energy and cost savings without compromising on productivity. It’s a win-win situation for businesses and the environment alike.

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