Testing computer power management software

May 13th, 2009 | Brandon

Today, May 13, marks the middle of a two week OSU test to see how much energy – electricity specifically – can be saved by wider implementation of computer power management settings.

While it may seem pretty trivial to look at powering down computers and monitors when not in use, the savings add up.  While we are still waiting for numbers to come in from our test, estimates based on others’ implementation of stricter power management settings point to savings of $15-$35 per year per computer.  Multiply that by the many thousands of computers at OSU, and the business case starts to look pretty good.

The OSU test, prompted by the Sustainability Office but refined and led by Steve Fowler of OSU’s Technology Support Services group,  involves several practices and products.  Two of the software solutions include the Verdiem company’s Surveyor product, and EPA’s  Energy Star EZ GPO.  These will be compared to “default” power management settings that are put on machines as they are built by OSU’s largest computer support entity, Community Network.

Part of the reason for testing include evaluating true costs (which include support staff time) and taking a close look at impact on users.  A successful test will minimize or eliminate interruptions to end users.

The test was a long time in coming, but we’re ending up with a very robust analysis thanks to Steve and others, including CN and Facilities Services Specialized Application Support group.

Thanks to these groups for their support in moving OSU toward higher efficiency and lower carbon emissions!

4 Responses to “Testing computer power management software”

  1. Hi Guys.
    Thanks for a great article. I found another bit of interesting info about How much electricity does a computer use that the reader might also find useful.

  2. Great article. I know most operating systems have a feature like a cron job on unix. You can set up a script to run each night that will shut the systems down to conserve energy as well. I’ve done that at corporate offices I’ve worked at before. Great for the cost savings. Especially with the economy like it is now.

  3. Scatman says:

    Is the a limit on how long your comments can be? Timed out about 5 times when trying to post a 8 line long comment.

  4. This great PC Power Management software tracks energy wasted by each employee across an enterprise and shows them how much power they waste in relation to the rest of the employees. It’s geat for encouraging employees to reduce the amount of energy they waste by leaving their computers on when they’re not using them. I really think every enterprise should look into software of this type, as it reduces power consumption (and therefore costs) as well as CO2 emissions.