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Departmental Computers

Volume 479: debated on Monday 1 September 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of (a) the number of computer devices left on overnight in his Department when not in use and (b) the cost of leaving computer devices on overnight when not in use in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. (217869)

The Department has not undertaken any formal study to estimate of the number of computer devices left on overnight in departmental premises and therefore cannot provide the cost of leaving these devices on overnight in each of the last five years.

Staff are instructed to shut down their personal computers (PCs) at the end of the day and this automatically switches off the power. The PC monitor has to be manually switched off but if this is not done, the monitor goes into very low power mode until the PC is switched on again. Printers and other shared peripheral devices connected to the network are not switched off overnight but automatically go to low power mode after a short period of inactivity both during the day and overnight. The Department will shortly be deploying a network tool that identifies PCs left switched on outside office hours and forces the equipment to shut down safely.

All computer equipment procured by the Department meets or exceeds Sustainability Mandatory Standards (‘Quick Wins') 2007. The 'Quick Wins' are a set of minimum environmental standards covering a range of commonly-purchased goods, including information technology equipment. The standards relate to characteristics such as energy consumption, recycled content, and biodegradability.