Q&A: How can I find out how much energy is being consumed by my organization’s desktop computers?

With most devices you can look at the label to see how much energy they use, but that doesn’t work very well with computers because the label gives the theoretical maximum, not the typical amount used.

A computer label or power supply that says 300 watts might only use about 70 watts when it’s actually running, and only 100 even in peak times with serious number-crunching and all the drives spinning.

There are many inexpensive energy meters available on the market (such as Cyber Guys Kill A Watt) that will monitor your hardware’s energy consumption over a period of time. These units are limited to one device at a time. To obtain a larger data sample size in a short period of time, organizations can use the reporting features provided within PC Power management software solutions.

Faronics Power Save offers “audit mode” and be used to measure, verify, and monitor your organization’s computer energy consumption. It is based on what you define as your average watt consumption for your hardware and your organization’s cost of energy (cent/kWh). From this baseline measurement you will be able to turn on the “savings features” to determine the before and after values of your organization’s desktop energy consumption.

About Melissa Alvares

Melissa was the head of Softchoice’s campaign marketing team, responsible for providing organizations with information on the latest technology trends, insights and solutions from the desktop to the data center.