Salmijarvi Sweden

Do you know how much CO2 your computer use?

Have you ever wondered how much Co2 your computer use and what impact computers have on climate change? I set out to investigate and came to the conclusion that it is now easy to figure, accordingly to Worldometer there has been shipped over 2 billion computers as of 2007, the number is high. This year more than 2,4 million computers have been sold.

To understand how many are actually used is very hard to know, if we make the assumption that at least 2 billion computers are used today across the world, this table shows what impact that has on the climate.

I find out that computers emit 499,360,000,000 that is 499 billion/kg Co2 in a year or in tons 499 million/ton

CO2 your computer

The power consumption of a computer varies depending on whether it is a desktop or a laptop:

  • desktop uses an average of 250 W/hour when it is being used (loudspeakers and printer included). A computer that is on for eight hours a day uses almost 480 kWh and emits depending on the country and the electrictu mix (coal, oil, hydro, nuclear) anything from 175 kg of CO2 per year.
  • laptop uses between 50 W/hour when it is being used, depending on the model. A laptop that is on for eight hours a day uses between 175 kWh and emits between 175 kg of CO2 per year.
  • In stand-by mode the power consumption of both a desktop and a laptop falls to about a third.
  • To get a more acurate number you would need to add the wifi modem (10 W), printer (5 W) and speakers (20 W) not everyone has that combo as laptops often have wifi modem/speakers built in.

The numbers provided can vary depending on brand and model, so the numbers provide is very generic. The power consumption of a computer of course depends on the model and the way it is used.

Stand-by mode uses power, too!

On standby, the power consumption of both a desktop and a laptop computer falls to about a third. Putting the monitor on standby reduces its consumption by 15%. If the monitor is switched off completely, then of course it does not use any power.

Browsing web pages, reading news etc still requires power and results in CO2 emissions. This is not necessarily electricity you pay for, as a web server company is getting charged, for you if the website is slow that will take longer to load which is more electricity consumption for you. SO, think about it when you are browsing.

Some tips to save energy

  • If you have speakers switch off when you are not using them.
  • Switch off the printer when it’s not needed.
  • Switch off the screen if you are not working on the PC just now.
  • Switch off your computer or put it in stand-by mode if you are not going to work on your PC for more than 30 minutes.
  • Use a laptop in preference to a desktop.
  • Switch off the modem at night.



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