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.