Ithaca College is committed to becoming climate neutral and reducing our carbon footprint. In May 2007, the college committed to the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment. According to the Department of Energy, computing/office resources have become the 3rd largest energy user in office and academic buildings, behind heating and cooling.
In recent studies across Ithaca College’s campus:
- approximately 50% of all CPU’s were on over night
- over 90% of all monitors were on over night
- over 70% of desktop printers were on over night
- almost 100% of copiers and network printers were on over night
Some of the reasons given for leaving computers or other office equipment on have been:
- I was told to leave it on to get updates.
- It goes into sleep mode, doesn’t that save energy?
- I forgot.
To assist Ithaca College in meeting its goal for carbon neutrality, computers and all affiliated office equipment should be turned off at the end of each work day.
Information Technology Systems here at the college, along with the Department of Energy is trying to bust some of the most common myths related to computer usage. Some of them are:
Myth: Turning off the computer is bad for it.
Truth: Computers are designed to handle 40,000 on/off cycles, many more cycles than the average user will need in the computers 3 – 5 year life span.
Myth: Turning off the computer uses more energy than leaving it on.
Truth: The power used to boot up a computer is less than the energy used by the unit when it remains left on for over 3 minutes.
Myth: Screen savers save energy.
Truth: Most screen savers do not save energy unless they actually power off the screen or the backlight on laptops.
Myth: Network connections are lost when a PC goes into low-power/sleep mode,
Truth: Computers are now designed to sleep on networks to prevent loss of data or connection.
Myth: A computer must be left on overnight to receive updates from the LAN.
Truth: Updates from the LAN will be downloaded to a computer each morning when the computer is turned on.
Some tips and tricks to save energy in your office:
- Turn off all electronic devices including computers, monitors, scanners, printers, copiers at the end of each work day.
- Only turn on equipment as it is needed, ie; paper shredders, desktop printers, speakers, etc. Then turn it off directly after use.
- Only buy a monitor as large as you really need. A 19” monitor uses 40% more energy than a 17” monitor.
- Use the department coffee pot, refrigerator, toaster, etc… instead of having your own.
- Only plug in chargers for as long as it takes to charge the device, then unplug them. Don’t leave chargers plugged in when not charging.
- Reduce redundant equipment in your office. If you have a plug in electric clock, use the clock on your computer.
- Use day light whenever possible and leave the overhead lights off.
- Replace incandescent bulbs with CFL’s.
- Turn off computer equipment during lunch or prolonged meetings.
Why put so much emphasis on turning off computers? On average, leaving on your computer every night and on weekends places 3 pounds of sulfur dioxide and 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere per year. To reach our goal of carbon neutral, we must all work together to turn off equipment, when not needed.