Thank you for the excellent posting. In 2010 we launched a Green IT initiative. Unfortunately it is on hold because of other priorities. This project will start up again later this year.
You are correct that turning off computers can save energy. This is one of the recommended actions on our web page. We need to overcome users' concerns that:
1) it may harm the computer to turn it on/off every day,
2) it is inconvenient to have to wait while the computer boots in the morning, and
3) the savings from powering off are negligible.
We need to educate the community to correct misperceptions.
The following story about the University of Arizona nicely illustrates your point:
"At the University of Arizona, campus sustainability through the reduction of energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions has become a vital mission. An estimated 45% of the 17,000 computers on campus are left on after standard working hours. This wastes up to 3 million kWh of electricity and releases an extra 2.8 million pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere a year, equivalent to the annual gas emissions from 250 cars. Just this lack of control over our computer hardware is costing the university an estimated $175,920 annually. What can you do? Just by changing a few simple actions, you can help improve energy management, increase energy efficiency, and reduce waste."
Jonathan SchaefferVice-Provost and AVP Information Technology