Mr. Green is busy on his world-wide publicity tour for his new book. In the meantime, here's a Mr. Green classic column from March 2007.
Hey Mr. Green,
Should I turn off my computer at night or put it to "sleep"? —Dave in Bozeman, Montana
Unless you have software or network hookups that require your PC to be on constantly, turn that sucker off. The sleep mode cuts energy use by 70 percent, but using the off switch reduces it even more--and turning off the power strip stanches the flow entirely. (Please don't confuse power saving with screen savers; though the latter may feature a heartwarming picture, they do not save energy.) Since computers in the business sector alone waste more than $1 billion worth of electricity a year, it's surprising that more fuss isn't made about these simple steps.
It's also rumored that turning a computer on and off repeatedly will cause it to die prematurely. This is simply not true. Even if it were, planned obsolescence would likely kill off your machine first. And when your desktop PC is put to sleep--permanently--consider replacing it with a laptop, which uses only about a fifth as much power.