PC Power

Optimise your computer power

In just 20 seconds you could improve your computer's energy efficiency and lifespan, whilst cutting your electricity bills. What are you waiting for?

All you have to do to prevent this is change a few basic settings on your computer, so that the monitor turns off when inactive and the system goes into hibernate when not in use. As always, there are ways to step the challenge up a notch or two too... read on for more info.


Here are a few reasons to take action.

Click for more info or scroll to read them all.


By improving the energy efficiency of your computer you would save energy and as much as £17 from your electricity bill each year, right now1.

Shockingly, a third of business computers in the UK are left switched on overnight, costing British businesses more than £300m a year in extra electricity bills.2


of energy used by computers is spent on running idle, not on actual computing.4


less energy is used by laptops compared to desktop PCs1

Climate change

Computers use electricity, quite a lot actually. Leaving a computer and its peripherals on when not in use wastes a lot of energy, resulting in totally unnecessary carbon emissions.

Desktops use the most energy, with laptops burning through a lot less power - but they're not the winners in the energy efficiency league table - tablets comfortably take that spot.

When you think about how many computers there are around the world, left humming night after night, you can imagine it really does all add up. Don't let yours join the din.

PC Health

Regularly leaving your PC on when not in use shortens the life-span of the computer. By managing the power settings more efficiently, can also prolong its battery life significantly.

Global Goals

In September 2017, an historic agreement was signed by UN member nations agreeing to work towards 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development by 2030, otherwise known as the SDGs.

Achieving these ambitious goals will require action from governments, businesses, NGOs, and individuals alike. We can - and must - all play our part.

By making the 'PC power' pledge, you are contributing in your own small way to the following SDG targets:

12.8: By 2030, ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature

13.3: Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning


It really is very easy.

The main thing is to set your device to go to sleep after 5 to 20 minutes of inactivity. If using a laptop or tablet, make sure you adjust settings for both power and battery states.

You can find instructions on how to do that for various operating systems here:

There are several handy apps like Caffeine for Mac that allow you to override these settings with one simple click - perfect for that important presentation when you really don’t want your laptop going to sleep!

Seven more pointers to optimise your computer’s energy efficiency:

  1. Dim your monitor or screen to save battery and reduce energy use
  2. Peripherals and the WiFi sensor also drain energy from your computer, so disconnect them and turn wifi off when not in use.
  3. Close down applications when not in use - they’ll also be draining energy and slowing your device down.
  4. Screensavers don't save energy - in fact, they often use more. Put your monitor to sleep rather than activating screensavers
  5. Turn it off if not in use. There’s a small surge in energy when you turn a device on, but this is quickly outweighed by the savings from turning it off. As a general rule of thumb:
    - Not using it for 20 mins or more? Turn the monitor off.
    - Not using it for 2 hours or more? Turn the computer off completely.
  6. Use a power strip so you can completely turn all your computing gadgets off with one switch when not in use for extended periods (weekends, holidays etc), minimising ‘vampire loads’ (this is a bigger issue with older devices).
  7. When it’s time to replace your device, look for ones with the Energy Star rating - they use 30% - 65% less energy than others.

Mobile phones: While you're at it, how about optimising your phone's battery life and energy efficiency too? Check out these 15 simple steps to extend your phone's battery life.

Success Stories


in total



- I charged my laptop until it was full powered and then unplugged it from the socket daily and drained it dry every night. - I changed my power settings on my laptop to use 'low power' permanently - I set a profile up to dim the display permanently - Dimmed the settings on my monitor screens and to low power mode and dimmed to settings - I set both my computer + monitors to go to sleep after 30 mins of inactivity - Also did the same thing with my phone and turned it off every night - charging it only in the office every 2 days!

I adjusted all the settings and they can stay like that now. I'm also sure having the screen brightness reduced has prevented a couple of headaches too.

Easily done, and I check the odd time to make sure settings have not changed :)

Super easy to do

Quick win as settings only need to be adjusted once. Should have extended this o other devices at home.

Dim those lights and lower that cpu usage! It's also quiet as an energy efficient mouse ^.^

Easy to execute, painless to maintain!

Settings changed and will not change them back

I turn off my computer every night to conserve energy so that's a big change.

This pledge went well, there are loads of settings to help you reduce power consumption of the PC.

This is very easy to control .. it has become a habit now and is part of an everyday routine!

An excellent idea.

It made no difference to me at all to dim my screen. Why didn't I do it sooner.

So I did all I could without whipping out a manual, I'm going to go a step further as soon as I have some more free time to really make my macbook as earth friendly as possible.

Very easy to change, and once it was set up it was easy to continue.