Hardware

Power becoming a major issue as energy costs rise


Residents of Maryland were recently challenged by their governor to cut their energy consumption by 15% over the next eight years as he pledged to reduce the use of energy by government offices and to increase the energy efficiency of government buildings. This and other energy conservation projects (a quick Google search revealed similar calls in several states) are poised to become large movements, particularly as energy costs balloon as a result of rising oil prices.

State residents challenged on energy savings (Baltimore Sun)

IT shops will be forced to respond to mounting energy costs. Dell has already announced an initiative to cut energy consumption by its servers by 42% while delivering the same or higher performance. Gartner has posited that nine to fifteen percent of most businesses' energy costs are related to IT, the vast majority from desktop PCs, and suggests "more-aggressive power management" for businesses. HP has also caught the conservation bug, planning to reduce energy usage by 15% over the next three years by using advanced techniques for powering and cooling data centers.

Dell-Emerson Partner to Reduce Power Consumption in Customers' Data Centers by 42 Percent (WebWire)

Switch off your PCs to cut costs and help the environment (Moneyweb)

Averting the IT Energy Crunch (BusinessWeek)

My organization has already started to reduce energy consumption by closing on Fridays during the summer to save on cooling costs during the hottest months of the year. We have also been asked to look into power management options to reduce PC power consumption.

What are you doing to reduce energy costs? Do you see this as a valuable initiative or the ravings of the "green" fanatics? Are there low-cost, low-effort techniques that the rest of us can use in our businesses? Join the discussion.

9 comments
gamermic
gamermic

With the advance of technology, energy costs should be lower... Computers taking up work of humans. Less number of human workers are needed... The title of this article is very misleading!!!

kgoss
kgoss

Marylanders got a 40% cost increase in electric earlier this year and another 20% to 25% increase is pending from the electric suppliers later this summer. Money that was marked for my active equipment consolidation is now going to Baltimore Gas and Electric.

dmorse
dmorse

Does anyone have a link to the free software mentioned in the earlier post from the EPA, and an Active Directory GPO? I cannot seem to find it off their webiste. Thanks

donn_norwood
donn_norwood

I think the product that is being referenced is called EZ GPO software and it can be found at: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=power_mgt.pr_pm_ez_gpo Please know that it has limits like Vista compatiblility. Nor does it speak of newer Microsoft technologies like Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008. Try these extra resources for help from EPA concerning GPOs: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=search.showResults&output=xml_no_dtd&oe=UTF-8&ie=UTF-8&q=%22group+policy+object%22

IT cowgirl
IT cowgirl

Here is a link: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=business.bus_internet_presentations#pc Where you can sign up for the following training session: PC Power Management This presentation describes an ENERGY STAR offering that is helping organizations realize substantial energy and financial savings available from computer and monitor power management. This training introduces an innovative software tool that enables monitor power management from a central location, as well as educational outreach material. Organizations utilizing this free software (which may be downloaded from the Web) can save $10 to $50 per computer.

williamhedges
williamhedges

PC Power Management is one of the easiest ways to reduce an organizations utility expense. I recommend looking into Verdiem???s SURVEYOR software. It is a comprehensive power-management solution for networked PCs that enables IT administrators to reduce energy consumption by an average of 250 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per PC annually, saving an average of $20 to $40 per PC, simply by moving PCs into lower power settings when not in use. SURVEYOR has the ability to measure and verify on a daily, monthly, and annual basis the energy and monetary savings. Most organizations see a pay back within 6 to 18 months and reduce their energy cost, and carbon footprint significantly every year.

TonytheTiger
TonytheTiger

Most PCs have an auto-power on setting in Bios. We set it to about 2-1/2 hours before work time. That gives us time to install updates, etc. without impacting performance. We then do a shutdown an hour after work for those users who forget. If a user is working late, they can abort this shutdown. We are also in the process of replacing all our CRT monitors with LCDs.

unhappyuser
unhappyuser

Here's just a few: Put your electric hot water heater on a timer so it's not wasting energy heating the water while you're asleep. Add an insulaition blanket to the hot water heater if there isn't one. Lower the temperature setting for your hot water heater. Get a programmable thermostat for your heating/cooling system. Replacing windows? Get the double-hung type. To lower the inside temp when it's cooler outside pull the top window down and the bottom window up. The warm air will flow out the upper opening and be replaced by cooler air through the bottom. Be sure you have screens in place to keep the bugs out! Keep the air in your tires to the correct pressure and change that air filter once a year. I could go on but here's probably $1000 in savings PER year! EMD

Andy Moon
Andy Moon

Late last year, one of our VPs asked us to look into a utility that claimed to be able to reduce energy costs (for the low site-licensed cost of $15,000). We ended up finding a free solution put out by the EPA that manages PC power using standard Active Directory GPOs. Are you doing anything to reduce power consumption at your workplace?

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