Create an energy use report in Windows 7 with powercfg

Type cmd into the search box

With a renewed interest on global warming, carbon footprints, and green technology, the power consumption of your personal computer is not a trivial matter. And if your PC happens to be a notebook, the amount of power consumed has a direct relationship to battery life. Minimizing power consumption will maximize battery life.

But how do you know how much power your PC is consuming? How do you troubleshoot the problem power draining functions?

Well, with Microsoft Windows 7, you can use a small applet called the Power Configuration Utility. Run from the command line with the right switch, it will create a detailed file that thoroughly examines power usage on your personal computer. Here is how it works.

Create the report
To create your energy report you will need to type a specific instruction on an elevated administrator-rights command line. Click the Start Menu button and type cmd into the search box as shown. The first application shown should be the command line executable file. Right-click on that file name.

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By Mark Kaelin

Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to,, and TechRepublic.