The huge potential savings of small changes

This week I read an article from GreenTech Media titled When sleep saves.  This shows that a single company is due to save $400,000 (290,000 euros) this year just by putting all its computers in sleep mode when possible.

I am amazed at how such a simple thing can save so much money. If such a thing was generalized among all companies around the world, the savings would be staggering.

Around the world, hundreds of coal-fired plants are spewing huge amounts of carbon dioxide and other pollutants for nothing. It is high time we tackle the issue.

Yet, this isn’t entirely new as I already wrote on the issue last year. Back then I was noting that at least ten percent of the total US electricity consumption is wasted by leaving computers and lights on in buildings and in other ways that could be fixed easily.

To GreenTech Media:

Computers and IT equipment are not the biggest energy hogs out there. Computers only consume 4 percent of the energy in U.S. commercial buildings, or about the same as refrigeration, according to the Department of Energy. Other electronics like printers and phones account for 7 percent. Still, green IT will likely become a growth market because

1) solutions exist to curb power and

2) IT giants like Intel, IBM, Cisco, Oracle, Dell and others see energy efficiency as a way to drive demand and differentiate their products.

Antivirus companies will likely make a more concerted push into PC energy management — Symantec has already started. Thin client manufacturers like N Computing and Wyse say that their products are gaining traction because of reduced energy consumption.

Companies and organizations in the U.S. waste $2.8 billion ( 2 billion euros) a year in energy costs by leaving computers on overnight, according to a 2009 study by software company 1E and the Alliance to Save Energy.

“Though there is a small energy surge when a computer starts up, this small amount is still less than the energy used when a computer runs for long periods.

For energy savings and convenience, consider turning off the monitor if you aren’t going to use your PC for more than 20 minutes, and both the CPU and monitor if you’re not going to use your PC for more than two hours,” the Department of Energy advises.

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