5 PC Power Myths. What it's costing...

  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

According to a report released by the EPA yesterday, US companies waste 2.8 billion dollars a year powering unused PC's. In addition:

Quote:
Unused PCs -- that is, computers that are powered on but not in use -- are expected to emit approximately 20 million tons of CO2 this year alone, roughly equivalent to the impact of 4 million cars


Quote:
On a more granular level, companies can save more (sometimes far more) than $36 per desktop PC per year through PC power management. Those savings can add up quickly, and in this economic climate, every dollar counts.


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5 Myths about PC Power:

Myth No. 1: The power used turning my PC on negates any benefits of turning it off
Quote:
The average desktop draws 89 watts per hour. If it's left on overnight for 16 hours, it consumes 1.42kW. It's impossible for the power surge that occurs when powering on a PC to rival that figure


Myth No. 2: My screen saver is saving me energy.
Quote:
Though at times entertaining and whimsical, screen savers aren't power savers. As the report notes, "Certain graphics-intensive screen savers can cause the computer to burn twice as much energy," according to the EPA's Energy Star Program.


Myth No. 3: Turning my PC on and off will reduce its performance and useful life.
Quote:
Modern computers are designed to handle 40,000 on/off cycles before failure, and you're not likely to approach that number during the average computer's five to seven year life span. In fact, IBM and Hewlett Packard encourage their own employees to turn off idle computers, and some studies indicate it would require on/off cycling every five minutes to harm the hard drive.


Myth No. 4: I can't run updates and patches for PCs in lower-power states.
Quote:
It's perfectly possible to rouse PCs from slumber for patches, updates, and backups. "This is most often achieved using WOL (Wake on LAN) technology -- an Ethernet networking standard that allows PCs to be 'woken up' from a lower power state after receiving a 'magic packet' network message.


Myth No. 5: My PC users will not tolerate any downtime for power management.
Quote:
The Forrester report does acknowledge that end-users have very little patience for downtime. However, it suggests that "potential user complaints can be mitigated by communicating the positive financial and environmental benefits of PC power management."


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  • NaashG
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thanks for the information.
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  • Jenie0109
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I make sure I turn off my computer and others' too before leaving the office. That saves a lot.
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

As a follow up to this I read a good article this morning that lists popular reasons why IT techs don't power down.

http://www.infoworld.com/d/green-it/no- ... wn-pcs-705

The ROI question

Quote:
Among the barriers, not surprisingly, was the question of cost and ROI. Some IT admins weren't convinced that the energy saved from putting PCs and monitors to sleep during off-hours would make up for the cost of PC power management software. In reality, though, the savings can, indeed, be quite compelling. All you need to do is crunch a few numbers.


No ownership

Quote:
The question of ROI doesn't top the list of barriers to adopting PC power management, however. Rather, the No. 1 obstacle cited by 42 percent of the respondents was the lack of ownership. That is, no one in the organization is actually responsible for managing energy consumption of PCs, so no one is taking the initiative to rein it in.


User space

Quote:
The second and third top barriers to PC power management seem to be connected: "Users will not tolerate any loss of productivity from PC power management" (39 percent) and IT is "not sure what approach to take or policies to put in place" (31 percent).
  • effim
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Quote:
The average desktop draws 89 watts per hour. If it's left on overnight for 16 hours, it consumes 1.42kW. It's impossible for the power surge that occurs when powering on a PC to rival that figure


Watts are a measure of the rate of energy conversion, not a quantity of energy like a joule (J) or kilowatt-hour (kWh). That said...

My computer and all accessories (monitor included) draw an average of 280 watts when I'm not doing anything on the computer but the monitor is on. I have a 30" Apple Cinema display and a quad-core Mac Pro. Given that, I think that the number you referred to is probably accurate for the average usage for an average desktop assuming a draw of 89 watts.

That means that in 16 hours the computer would consume 1.42kWh of electricity, costing about fourteen cents. In a month, that'd be about $4 extra on the electricity bill. On the flip side, if an average computer takes 5 minutes to boot up (including starting requisite software) and that a $10/hr employee has to wait for it once a day for 20 days out of the month (ie. they aren't able to do anything while it starts), it'd end up costing the company about $16 extra in labor (a total of 100 wasted minutes) every month. You'd have to get the computer to start in 1/4th the time or make sure employees aren't waiting on the computer in order to make any sort of measurable difference.

That said, I always put my computer to sleep at night or when I leave. About 8 hours a night alone saves me about $8 a month on the electric bill from the computer directly. I probably save more on the A/C bill, though, since my computer puts out about 853 BTU/h when idle. ;)
  • victoriaphee
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Post 3+ Months Ago

This information is really helpful. People will be more environment conscious and will be able to save money at the same time. Thanks!
  • ATNO/TW
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I presented this to my General Manager yesterday. Asked him how he'd feel about saving about $2500 a year on electric and lower our carbon footprint at the same time (something our company is very conscious about). He was all for that but wasn't up for inconveniencing the employees (i.e. - having to wait for the PC's to boot). I clarified that turning them off at nights and on weekends when nobody was working was what I had in mind and he went for it.
  • digitalMedia
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Post 3+ Months Ago

ATNO/TW wrote:
I presented this to my General Manager yesterday. Asked him how he'd feel about saving about $2500 a year on electric and lower our carbon footprint at the same time (something our company is very conscious about). He was all for that but wasn't up for inconveniencing the employees (i.e. - having to wait for the PC's to boot). I clarified that turning them off at nights and on weekends when nobody was working was what I had in mind and he went for it.


Right on, ATNO!
  • Vatson
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Good information for me. I think this is useful information for novice users, but still interesting to read it even I have already experienced user. Thanks for sharing ATNO/TW.

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