Many computers today come with several different commands to manage energy savings. According to energy.gov, a typical 150-watt PC consumes about 876 kilowatt hours per year. At an electric rate of 10 cents per kilowatt, that adds up to about $87.60 a year, before taxes and fees. Your system draws almost as much power when it’s in standby mode with a screen saver active as it does when you are using it. By knowing and using the setting options on your computer, you can reduce your energy consumption dramatically. If you use your computer six hours a day, you could save 75 percent or more.
- Make sure that you have the power-down feature set up on your PC through your operating system software. This has to be done by you; the power management features are not already enabled when a computer is purchased. To learn how to activate the power management features on your computer, click on the following link for the type of computer operating system you are using for step by step instructions: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=power_mgt.pr_power_mgt_users&s=m
- Turn off your monitor when you won’t be using it for at least 20 minutes.
- Turn off your computer if you won’t be using it for at least 2 hours.
- Though there is a small surge in energy when a computer starts up, this small amount of energy is still less than the energy used when a computer is running for long periods of time.
- Most PCs reach the end of their “useful” life due to advances in technology long before switching the device on and off will negatively impact it.
- The less time a PC is on, the longer it will “last.”
- PCs also produce heat, so turning them off reduces cooling needs.
- Screen savers are not energy savers. Using a screen saver may use more energy than not using one and the power-down feature may not work if you have a screen saver. In fact, modern LCD color monitors do not need screen savers at all.
Definitions of Words for the Windows Operating Systems:
Computers operating with a Windows system have four energy saving settings that you can control at work and at home:
Windows definitions are as follows:
Log off – this command turns your computer completely off.
Sleep – this command keeps your session in memory and puts the computer in a low-power state so that you can quickly resume working.
Hibernate – this command saves your session and turns off your computer completely, but when you turn on the computer, Windows restores your session.
Shut down — this command closes all open programs, shuts down Windows and then turns off your computer.
Definitions of Words for the Mac Operating System:
Computers operating with an Apple system have energy saving settings that you can control under “Energy Saver”:
Energy Saver definitions are as follows:
Computer sleep/power nap—keeps your session in memory and puts the computer in a low-power state so that you can quickly resume working.
Display sleep – the computer is operational, but turns the display/monitor off to save energy.
Idle mode – puts the hard drive (what stores all the information on your computer) to sleep; lets you resume but slower than the computer sleep/power nap setting.
Schedule – you can set your computer to go on and go off at certain times of the day.
Shut down – closes all open programs, shuts down OS, and then turns off your computer.