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.
In the US the situation is even worse - half of corporate computers are left on overnight. This is costing US firms some $2.8bn a year.
Leaving machines on overnight and at weekends costs British businesses £17 a year for every PC. But the real figure could be even higher reckons Sumir Karayi, chief exec of power management firm 1E, who funded the research.
Karayi said: "A computer uses energy even when it appears to be idle. Shutting down PCs when not in use will help businesses to significantly reduce costs while preventing tons of CO2 from being emitted into our atmosphere."
Gartner estimates the IT and telecom industry generates 2 per cent of world carbon emissions and PCs and monitors account for 39 per cent of that total.
It is standard policy in many large corporates that machines are left on so that software patches and virus updates can be remotely installed while the machines are not in use.
The situation has actually improved somewhat - Harris Interactive, which polled 2,000 UK people, carried out similar research two years ago which found that half of British computers were left on overnight.
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