All those PCs left on can add up!

When most people think about reducing energy in IT, they focus on the power-hungry data center. But we tend to overlook the PCs that sit on almost every office worker’s desk.

The average PC and monitor annually consume 600 kWh of energy, which results in 710 to 1330 lbs of carbon released into the atmosphere. The largest opportunity within this environmental impact is that approximately 20%-40% of PCs and monitors are left on all night. One report estimated that turning off every work computer in the United States every evening would save as much CO2 emissions as taking every car in the state of Maryland off the road.*

In business terms, the simple step of shutting computers down nightly can result in a per PC reduction of [Read more…]

The nuts and bolts of PC Power Management

The Solutions

PC Power Management Software

Implementing specialized power management software to shut down PCs and monitors when not in use is by far the best way to gain energy efficiencies. These technologies typically cost between $10-$20 per device and will allow a central administrator to set shut-down policy and manage exceptions, as well as giving you the ability to report on savings. Advanced tools also provide the ability to save and properly close documents upon shutdown, and allow for scheduled patches or updates to occur seamlessly. [Read more…]

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.

Does your computer talk in its sleep?

We almost tune it out these days–that quiet hum of a desktop computer in the cube next to us, or the one in the other room at home that you left downloading some files. We shouldn’t tune it out—because that hum is power being consumed. One study showed that 67% of desktop computers were left on when not being used—only 4% of which went to sleep.

Sleep mode allows a computer to stop consuming power without a complete shut down and restart. This mode is designed to save power when a computer is not being actively used—so why are so few computers making use of sleep? [Read more…]