Bosses are in for a nasty electrical shock when they find out how much cash they are wasting by leaving IT equipment on overnight, according to a business pressure group.
The Forum of Private Business, which represents 25,000 SMEs, said research by computer publication PC pro magazine made sobering reading.
PC Pro reckons a firm employing 50 people could be wasting as much as £5,000-ayear on electricity bills by leaving equipment on.
The magazine says computers left on overnight will quickly consume 1kWh of energy, costing more than £35 per year and it warns putting PCs into standby will not help.
One PC analysed by specialists consumed 78W in standby mode, only reducing the wastage to about £25.
Meanwhile the humble inkjet printer, which spends 99 per cent of its time doing nothing, will cost you about £35 in electricity over its lifetime. Firms leaving televisions in standby mode overnight, which demands up to 14W, are wasting around £12 wasted per year per set.
FPB IT spokesman Kieron Hayes urged bosses to ensure their staff turn computers off properly before calling it a day.
"Bosses can save a serious amount of cash simply by getting their staff into a routine of switching equipment off,' he said.
"A little-known fact about modern PCs is that it is actually very difficult to turn them off completely. Select 'Turn Off Computer' from the Windows Shutdown screen, wait for it to do its stuff and you would think that would be it. But no.
"Even when the computer appears to be off, it is still consuming power.
"The only way to stop this is to switch off the supply at the mains socket or, if your computer's power supply has one, flip the power switch on the power supply itself , where the mains is connected.
"Quite simply a PC that's sitting there doing nothing could still cost you £6 a year if it is connected to the mains."