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At an office where I work, there is a Samsung CLP-310 laser printer:

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The staff turn this off every evening. Right off -using the hard power switch on the back. They are trying to reduce their impact on the environment, but it doesn't make much difference (we have cheap, environmentally-friendly hydroelectricity), and this just causes a lot of inconvenience in the mornings.

The printer has no power over night and, it seems, is forced to run extra maintenance routines when it is turned back on the next day. I am not convinced that fully disconnecting it from the power every single day is such a good idea- as takes much longer to start printing in the mornings, and probably wastes toner when performing these extra warming-up/calibration steps.

In addition, people in the morning often have to wait a much longer time to retrieve their documents, as they usually only discover the printer is still turned off at the back when they walk up to it to pick up their work.

We are based in Vancouver, where electricity is cheap (only $0.069/kW.h).

The printer uses only 10W in standby, which works out as $0.00069/hour here. To save a single Canadian dollar, they would need to turn this device off for nearly 1,500 hours.

To put it another way: this printer is on 12 hours a day, for 6 days a week. That leaves 96 hours/week that they don't use it, or 4992 hours per year.

4992 hours x $0.00069 = $3.45 savings per year (before you take into consideration the cost of extra power and toner used when powering up from a cold start 312 times per year).

They have 2 other printers (one inkjet, one laser), but always leave them on standby. The reason? There is no green standby LED on the other printers so, psychologically, they feel like the other printers don't use power in standby mode. Not to mention, they have a big domain controller (4 internal drives) and a print server, that are both on 24/7, as well as 25 PC which are always on standby (Wake on LAN enabled, used for LogMeIn). What's an extra 10 Watts, if it makes peoples lives easier every morning?

Oh... and in the winter they put a couple of electric heaters on to keep staff warm at their desks. 1,500W each!

I am considering recommending that they stop shutting this printer down all the time using the main power switch as it wasn't designed to be used that way. This will stop staff having to wait around for their documents every morning. Waiting 2 minutes extra per day adds up to 8 hours per year. That's 8 hours of waiting, for $3.45 (or less) in electricity savings.

Is this a reasonable suggestion to make given the circumstances?

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I'm thiiissss close to closing this for being "primarily opinion based" - you might want to edit it into a more succinct technical question. That being said, that amount of energy is negligible. If you want to prove your point, try hooking up a Kill-A-Watt (or something similar) during the power-on time when it does all its extra maintenance, and see if it uses more energy than when it's in standby. Then compare how much energy you waste turning it on vs. it wastes in standby overnight. – nhinkle Sep 10 '13 at 0:40
Pish posh, this is a well thought out question with lots of details, and you could debate that it isn't primarily opinion based anyway. – Frank Sep 10 '13 at 0:44
Exactly. Thank you chipperyman. You can't get more detailed and technical than this. You don't often see interesting calculations in Superuser questions. The only thing that is opinion-based is the comment suggesting that this question is opinion-based. Nonsense! – Austin ''Danger'' Powers Sep 10 '13 at 0:47
You wouldn't be able to test turning on draw, + warm up draw would you? With all the warming up, self-checks, gears spinning and what not I expect that first few minutes of use costs about as much as a couple hours in standby... – AthomSfere Sep 10 '13 at 1:54
It's definitely a reasonable suggestion. In fact, so reasonable it hardly merits the query here. But I suspect you're looking for more "ammunition", or perhaps just some moral support. I'd say make the suggestion and if people say know then to he!! with it. – Daniel R Hicks Sep 10 '13 at 2:38

Regardless of whether the printer is off or in standby, it will still run the same maintenance functions when it comes back up. With lasers that is nothing much, but does include heating up the fuser, spinning motors to make sure they're all in the correct position, etc. As most modern lasers use very little power in standby, many people don't worry about it. Yes, switching it off is "greener" but you have to balance that against the inconvenience of having to make sure it is switched on when you start work.

My wife switches our home laser off immediately after every print. I'm not sure that saves anything, especially if she wants to do several prints within minutes of each other.

share|improve this answer
Interesting food for thought. The LEDs all blink for a long time after a cold start- with lots of clicking and whirring from the rollers and internal mechanism. I'm going to use an ammeter at the weekend to compare current draw from standby vs off vs already warmed up, as well as timing startup times from all 3 power states. Soon... soon, we shall have our answers! – Austin ''Danger'' Powers Sep 10 '13 at 6:55
The biggest current drain, by far, will be heating up the fuser: it is the reason why lasers can draw up to 1kW while warming up or printing. – hdhondt Sep 10 '13 at 10:26
Just following up as promised. That printer's fuser died before I had a chance to do some experimentation with an Ammeter. We ended up getting a Brother HL-3170CDW, which has "deep sleep" mode (1W standby power) and no hard power switch. So that's solved that problem- they can't practically turn it off even if they want to now. – Austin ''Danger'' Powers Nov 1 '13 at 5:18
No matter how much you care about reducing carbon pollution, 1W is to little to worry about! – hdhondt Nov 2 '13 at 10:05

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