To raise awareness of the impact of IT energy consumption, Friday August 27 is “Power IT Down Day“. The idea is this — turn off your laptops, desktops, monitors, printers, and anything you’re not using for the weekend.
Printers alone are estimated to be 12% of the IT cost in 2012 (8% in 2007). The total carbon impact of IT and Telcom equipment will be more than 1.5% of global emissions by 2020, 57% of which is attributable to PCs and office equipment. While there’s fancy software out there that will power down these systems for you, the reality is that you can do most of this yourself too! Just set up a policy that everyone turns things off when they go home, and power it back up when they get in to work. This weekend is a good opportunity to introduce this concept to your company.
To do my own part, I have installed a TED monitoring device at my home in San Francisco. I used this data to decide what to turn off and its impact when I go out of town. I found that I can unplug my printer, turn off my thermostat, and power down everything around the TV except for the DVR. I even unplug the microwave and toaster. The impact has been about a 50% lower energy use during periods that I’m not home.
There’s a side note here about PG&E’s smart meter installation. They’ve decided that Silver Spring’s technology is not able to handle the density and elevation changes in San Francisco, as told by a PG&E representative in a recent SVLG meeting. But there’s other complications too, San Francisco City Attorney has also asked PG&E to halt smart meter installs in San Francisco. The good news is that PG&E hasn’t started in San Francisco or the very rural outlying areas. Thus the need to install my own meter.
Back to energy efficiency — the same idea holds for the office as it does for my home. People tend to work 8ish hours per day (unless they’re in a startup!) and not on weekends. By powering down for the weekend, we can make a big impact.