Posts Tagged ‘Conservation’

Green Computing for Small Businesses

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009
Green Computing

Green Computing

I received several queries following the recent publication of an article in USA Today, which reported the findings of a study on the power usage of office computers. The 2009 PC Energy Report, produced by 1E, an energy management software company, and the Alliance to Save Energy, a non-profit organization, stated that roughly half of the 108 million desktop computers in the U.S. are not properly shut down in the evening, when employees leave their offices. This results in a cost to business of $2.8 billion annually to power unused computers and the emission of 20 million tons of carbon dioxide, comparable to the emissions produced by four million cars on the road. According to this report, the practice of powering down in the evening can reduce $260,000 in energy costs for a company with 10,000 desktop computers, with an environmental benefit of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 1,871 tons. This study focused exclusively on costs and benefits to large corporations. Several readers asked me about the implications of this recommended practice for small businesses.

One desktop computer consumes between $50 – $200 in annual electricity costs. The newer models, which are more energy efficient, would be at the lower end of the range and the older models at the upper end. Large corporations typically ask that their employees leave their computers on overnight for software deployment and maintenance, tasks which small businesses typically perform during the workday. So the cost savings are not comparable for smaller businesses.