GCN at 25 | Green's salad days

GCN 25th anniversary logoGreen computing is a hot topic that likely will become hotter ' in the interest of making things cooler ' in the next decade or so. But it's not new. In 1993, the Clinton administration directed agencies to follow power-saving guidelines set down by the Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star program. EPA itself had a lot of room for improvement, Brian Johnson, Energy Star's program manager, told GCN in May that year. Johnson had noted that the lights at EPA turned off automatically when people weren't there, but computers stayed on. Raising awareness didn't seem to do the trick. 'We discovered immediately that telling people to turn off their computers didn't work very well,' Johnson said. So he got the agency to endorse the automated power-saving features that were being put into laptop PCs at the time.

How much energy could that save? GCN, using the power consumption of a typical PC and monitor and average electric rates of the time, calculated that employees could save $80 a year per PC by turning off the PC when they went home and the monitor when not in use. Applied to the 1.5 million nonserver PCs in government in 1993, that would amount to about $125 million a year.

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