Education institutions and supporting companies consume vast amount of energy for heating, lighting and powering equipment. So the education industry is well incentivized to address power efficiency in all areas of their operations, including computing hardware. Overall benefits include:
- Identifying possible savings on energy costs
- Achieving sustainability goals
- Reducing wear and tear on hardware due to age or configuration
Environmental efficiency initiatives often encompass multiple facets of an education organization, including how employees and students commute and alternative power sources. But the hardware your users depend on to do their jobs - deans, guidance counselors, records managers - every day can also play a part.
8 Tips to Reduce Your Computing Hardware Energy Footprint
- Consider deploying laptops instead of desktops where possible. Desktops are larger, have more components and require at least one monitor, all of which equates to costing about 3X more to run than laptops.
- Replace any CRT or LCD monitors with LED monitors. LEDs consume less power. Older LCDs use cold cathode fluorescent (CCFL) backlighting which can be up to 30% less power efficient than LED.
- Prioritize high-efficiency power supply units (PSUs) in desktops or workstations. 80 PLUS-certified PSUs waste 20% or less electric energy as heat.
- Utilize Windows 10 Pro energy management. By default, Windows 10 Pro PCs should be sending PCs to sleep after a set amount of time. Do not use screensavers as they keep monitors active and consuming power.
- Buy monitors or AIOs that are ENERGY STAR-certified. This certification designates monitors such as ThinkVision and ThinkCentre AIO models to be, on average, 25% more energy efficient than those without certification.
- Consider solid-state drives for storage on laptops or desktops. Because SSDs don’t have to spin up a hard disk from standstill they don’t waste energy as friction or noise. This equates to energy cost savings on desktops and longer battery life on laptops.
- Regularly scan PCs for malware, junkware and bloatware. These unnecessary apps may be running in the background, consuming energy and disabling sleep mode.
- Finally, is it more efficient to turn off a PC vs putting it into sleep mode? Any devices manufactured in the last 6-8 years will draw minimal power in sleep mode, so it makes little difference whether you completely power down or not. The key is to ensure devices enter sleep mode when not being used, and are not woken inadvertently by software running in the background when left unattended.