UB has a helpful guide to Green (Energy-conservation) Computing that covers the gamut of the topic, from an introduction that puts UB’s initiative in perspective (they have over 17,000 computers on campus) to specific steps that can help rein in power waste.

For example, the guide lets you know that a typical desktop computer requires anywhere from 50 to 150 watts, a laser printer needs around 100 watts and an inkjet requires up to 12 watts while operating. A computer in constant use (no power saving options enabled) can cost up to $125 annually, for that computer alone. Hmm, lets see, 17,000 x $125 = $2,125,000, or a huge chunk of change, especially for an academic institution.

So how do you counter these kinds of costs? You can follow suggestions such as:

  • Turn off the computer when it’s not in active use
  • Don’t turn all equipment on when starting work, add as needed
  • Don’t use a powerstrip to turn on and off all equipment
  • Turn unneeded servers off at night (yeah, right!)
  • Print as little as possible

The guide even goes so far as to make recommendations when purchasing new equipment, such as:

  • Not buy a new one or upgrade existing equipment
  • Buy only “Energy Star” certified equipment
  • Only buy as large a monitor as you really need
  • Buy inkjets instead of lasers
  • Network/Share printers
  • Recycle old equipment

Regardless, if you are a company or a university, large or small, there are specific things that can be done to save significant amounts of energy on a daily basis and it all adds up. Keep your attention on this important issue, and we’ll be posting much more about this sort of initiative.