Go Green - September 2011



Using Computers Greenly

"Should you turn off your computer when you leave work at night?"

It depends. It is a myth that the power to turn on a computer or other electronics uses more power than leaving it on through the night. There is a real energy savings to turning off your computer at night, especially using a powerstrip to limit phantom energy drain. But, there is a productivity gain if you don't have to wait for the computer to start up. If you do choose to leave your computer on then set-up your power options to put it in standby and/or hibernate mode overnight to lower power consumption.

Use automatic settings to decrease energy consumption by setting your computer to go into standby mode then hibernate when not in use by using Properties (right click on screen) or use power options in the Control Panel. Your computer should be turned off for the weekend or for an extended period of time like a vacation.

Monitors use the most energy and should be set to turn off when not in use for an hour or more: 

  • Do not use Screensavers. They use a lot of power and will often stop a monitor from automatically turning off.
  • Set the monitor to turn off when not in use by using Properties (right click on screen) or use power options in the Control Panel.
  • Turn off monitors manually when you will be away for a short amount of time (lunch or a quick meeting).

Other green computer tips: 

  • Replacing old servers will save a lot of energy. The electric bill savings alone could pay for the replacement equipment.
  • Recycle old computers with a reputable company. The computer will be broken down and everything that can be reused will be stripped or they will rehab the computer for more use. Many local communities will also take electronic goods for recycling.

***Be aware computers and other electronics should never go to a landfill due to the toxic metals they contain.


Easy Tip - Clean Your Coils

Refrigerators are major energy users. You can make your fridge more energy efficient by cleaning condenser coils located underneath or in back of the appliance. First, unplug the fridge and then locate the coils. Vacuum or brush the dust off of the coils.

When you replace your refrigerator make sure you get one with a good Energy Star rating.

Link of the Month

The U.S. Department of Energy runs a site called Energy Savers. It has everything your need to get serious about saving energy: