We’re very privileged to have an excellent partnership with Fujitsu, and we’re pleased indeed that they are taking the issue of rising energy costs and the impact of excessive energy use very seriously.
Their innovative production of Zero Watt computers and monitors is an example of how hard they are working to help reduce the consumption of power by idle technology, as we showed in our last post.
However. not everybody has the funding to replace their equipment with new Zero Watt kit!
Recently Fujitsu sent us a great bulletin, containing 4 tips for saving energy with older equipment. As they said in the introduction:
“As energy prices continue to rise relentlessly around the world, other cost pressures on companies also refuse to go away. Many organizations, however, still tend to underestimate the energy related expenses caused by their hardware, particularly when it comes to the thousands of office workplaces furnished with PCs.
The less energy-efficient these devices are, the higher the costs, and they can really add up. The industry is working on technology that help companies to reduce their costs, and Fujitsu is playing a leading role. But saving energy is about much more than discussing costs. It is about helping to protect the environment. With little effort, everybody can contribute to the green attitude.”
Here are their 4 tips:
1. Switch off your PC and monitor.
Sounds so blindingly obvious, doesn’t it? Yet so many offices look like the Christmas decorations in the high street when the lights are switched off at night… sparkling little green and red LEDs show just how many devices are still drawing a trickle of power, even when in sleep mode.
To completely stop your equipment from drawing current while you’re not even there, switch them off at the plug or power bar. Standby switches can still draw a little current, and as we said in the last post, that may not seem like much until you multiply up the hours the machines stand idle, by days, weeks and months.
Simple, yet effective – switch it off, and include your printers too! At the very least, shut it all down at the weekend.
2. Adjust your power management settings.
Not everyone knows that you can set your equipment to use less power during the working day. The obvious one is setting the computer to go into hibernation after a shorter period of time when you’re not using it. Obviously this needs to fit in with your work routine, but keep an eye on your use – is your monitor still blazing away brightly when you come back from an hour’s lunch break?
Reducing the brightness on your screen can reduce the power it uses, and most PCs will have power management or energy saving settings that you can adjust to suit your needs.
Have a look at your system settings and make some small adjustments to reduce the power your computer uses when it’s on.
Some recommended settings for lowest energy consumption are as follows:
• For you screen: set it to sleep after 10 minutes not used for a desktop PC, or 5 minutes for a laptop.
• For your hard drive: set it to sleep after 15 minutes not used, or 10 minutes for a laptop.
• Set your computer to go to standby after 20 mins not used, or 15 mins for a laptop.
• Set your PC to hibernate after an hour not used, or 30 mins for a laptop.
3. Don’t buy a much more powerful machine than you need!
A common phenomenon is the use of desktop PCs that are far more powerful than necessary to perform typical office applications. It’s like driving a Ferrari to the supermarket five minutes down the road – crazy fuel consumption for a simple task! The more powerful the processor in a computer – the more power-hungry it is.
Many applications in the office environment would benefit more from additional memory than high-performance processors. In such cases, older machines with more “frugal” processors could be upgraded and remain in service. Due to their compact housing, notebooks and laptops use diffferent technology. They generate less heat thereby using less energy. For that reason you could consider a notebook to use it as a desktop replacement where possible.
4. If you are buying a new PC – check the label!
If you are going to buy a new PC then think Green and check the labelling to see what standards it conforms to. The European Commission offers detailed information about the ENERGY STAR eco-label as well as the power consumption of modern office computers at www.eu-energystar.org.
The website features an energy calculator for PCs, monitors and imaging equipment for companies and consumers. It enables you to make a detailed comparison of power consumption and overall costs, allowing for factors such as purchase price, depreciation periods, and everyday usage scenarios, including specifying power requirements and if an uninterruptible power supply is used. Even the air conditioning system’s effects on electricity requirements are taken into account.
So, in summary, switch it off at night, streamline performance when it’s switched on, don’t buy a monster computer for simple tasks, and be sure to buy green when you are buying – in which case have a chat with us and we’ll point you at some great machines.