By Susan Bradley
Trying to consume less energy in a home office by putting workstations to sleep automatically seemed like the right thing to do.
But when two Windows 7 PCs developed insomnia, returning them to a greener state let me discover some interesting tricks and tips.
It started about five months ago. I looked at what we contributed annually to the local utility company and was not pleased. It was time to look at ways to cut our power consumption.
The first step was to calculate how much power we were actually using, in real numbers. To that end, I purchased a Kill a Watt device (info page), which tests and tracks the amount of energy computers and other household appliances use. Costing less than U.S. $30, this small box sits between an electrical device’s power plug and your wall outlet.
I discovered that, on average, I spent about $200 a year just to power my office PC, monitor, and printer if I leave them on all the time. Enough to make researching energy-saving techniques worthwhile.