The Climate Savers Computing Initiative (CSCI) has produced a reference document on how to build energy‐efficient,
power‐managed client platforms. The guide particularly addresses Standby mode, known as S3 under the computer industry standard Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI). S3 is seen as the best trade‐off between power savings and the ability to wake quickly and begin doing work.
Anyway, power management depends on interactions between operating system, microprocessor, chipsets, BIOS, devices, PC cards, monitors and software and the guide looks at aspects of the computer components, as well as platform
design, operating systems and software to achieve reliable Standby operations across platforms. The guide is available here.
The guide was put together by the CSCI’s Power Management Workgroup members, including Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Intel, LSI, Lenovo and Microsoft.
Pat Tiernan, executive director of CSCI pointed out that "Currently, 90% percent of desktops do not use power management, even though today's computers support this feature in their operating systems, power management software and platform components and design. Users prefer to have instant access to their network. Our challenge is to lower an idle, unused computer's energy consumption without sacrificing system productivity or performance."
So whilst this is a good initiative – advice and guidance towards building power-managed client platforms has to be beneficial – it ultimately boils down to the people using the machines. Just as important is behavioural change, which can be helped by manufacturers providing nudges, for instance by making a quick move to standby the default option.