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Green IT: Electricity

Reduce Electricity Consumption: Save Energy

The notion of leaving a water faucet running just because a person may want to wash their hands later seems outrageous, but that's what we're doing with our electricity when we decide to leave our computers and monitors on for possible later use.Consciously thinking about energy accompanied by little changes in your work habits, like making an effort to turn off and unplug whenever possible, can go a long way towards saving electricity.

For information on power usage of desktops and laptops in common use at the University, see the Computer power usage tables.

Set the power management settings on your computer to save energy

  • Windows (Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8)
  • OS X (OS X Snow Leopard 10.6, OS X Lion 10.7, OS X Mountain Lion 10.8)

Whenever possible, turn off equipment that is not in use

  • When feasible, shut down computers at the end of work days or work sessions. (Check with your Local Support Provider first to see what's recommended in your area.)
  • Turn off unused monitors, printers, and other peripheral equipment, even when computers cannot be turned off.
  • Group together non-critical electrical devices, particularly those requiring power adaptors, so that they share a single surge protector or power strip. Many electrical devices continue to draw power in standby mode, even when not in use, a phenomenon colloquially known as "vampire power."
    • Manually, turn off a shared power strip, which can significantly diminish this type of passive electrical consumption; or
    • Invest in a Smart Strip, a power strip which shuts off electricity to other outlets on the strip when a device connected to the "master" outlet is powered off. See a review of the Smart Strip LCG3 for more information.

Curtail the power demands of machines which must remain in use   

  • Set your monitors to enter an energy-saving "sleep" mode after a specified period of inactivity.
  • Do not use screen savers. Created a long time ago to "save your screen" by preventing images from permanently burning into old CRT displays, their need is obsolete with today's LCD monitors. All they do now is burn electricity.
  • Turn down the brightness setting of monitors and laptop displays. An additional win on a laptop is that it will extend your battery life when working unplugged as well.

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