1E has published a case study detailing the savings expected to be made by a New Zealand bank by shutting down computers using 1E’s software. Kiwibank will save up to NZ$24,570 in energy costs, reduce energy use by 163,800 kWh and reduce CO2 emissions by 32 tonnes in the first year.
Kiwibank has over 900 staff (nearly all with a PC), 700,000 customers and branches located within more than 300 PostShops throughout the country. Energy meters were showing that over half of computers were being left on at night and over weekends and the company was looking to reap the financial and sustainability benefits of computer power management.
The bank wanted to centrally control and report on
the power consumption of computers across it’s entire
IT estate and also to set specific power policies for different areas of the business:
• Turn off at 7pm and on again at 7am for office-based staff
• Turn off at 10pm and on again at 6:30am for computers in the call centre
• A small group of business-critical computers needed to be left to run 24/7/365 with no power policy set
Initially 1E’s NightWatchman and WakeUp products were installed across a representative sample of computers and data was collected over four weeks to benchmark PC energy consumption. NightWatchman showed that during this period 52% of computers were left on overnight. Over the weekends 50% of computers were left on – with only 9% being used.
Kiwibank received funding for the project through New Zealand’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA). The technology grant required third-party verification of the projected energy, cost and CO2
emissions savings and it’s that independent verification that confirmed that, at an average of 15 cents per kWh, Kiwibank would be saving approximately NZ$27.32 per computer per year.
It’s a nice case study which pretty much confirms how quick and easy it is to make savings using PC power management.
In fact the surprise for me is that Kiwibank, a company described as having sustainability at its heart and which was recognised as the Emerging Large and Corporate Business in the 2009 NZI Sustainable Business Awards, hadn’t done it before. The per computer savings suggest that the bank would have made a return on investment within about six months, which makes it worthwhile with or without a grant.
On the other hand, the company is not alone. Last year the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was working on the assumption that in a commercial environment only 36% of PCs are turned off at night and weekends. And in its 2010 Progress Report the Climate Savers Computing Initiative (CSCI) estimated the adoption of its recommended power management features (hard drives turned off after 15 minutes of inactivity and the system put into "sleep" mode after 30 minutes) were only expected to be implemented on 22% of PCs in 2010.
Given the financial and sustainability benefits there’s really no excuse for any commercial organisation not to have effective PC power management in place.