Computers are serious energy consumers, especially considering the amount of time they sit unused while you are at a meeting, lunch, or even home for the evening. Many people assume that the screen savers indicate that the computer is in low power mode, but in fact there is little savings. Still others believe that turning the computer off and on uses more energy. Neither is true. In order to ensure that your systems are powered down, take the following steps:
- Windows: Look under Start window, then Settings, then control panels, then power management. From here decide how long the computer would wait until turning off the monitor (mine is set at 10 minutes) and the CPU (mine is set at 30 minutes).
- Apple system: go to ‘System Preferences' à ‘Energy Saver' à ‘Sleep'. From here you can either set a threshold for the entire system (monitor and CPU) or for each component separately. For the green business program, monitors should sleep after 15 minutes, and CPUs after 30 minutes. If you are a very large business with an IT manager dedicated to installing software through the network, consider network power management. SF Environment can provide more information on these tools.
There are rebates available through SF Energy Watch for network-enabled computer power management.