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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Computer standby could be UWSP cost saver

From an article by Nick Paulson in the Stevens Point Journal:

A new power-saving computer program at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point should save the university thousands of dollars a year.

The Desktop Power Management Initiative will switch groups of campus computers to a standby or hibernation mode during periods of low use, especially overnight.

It is a fairly common idea on college campuses, but UWSP needed to find a program that would only put the computers to sleep rather than shut them off. That will allow the Information Technology department to do systemwide work at night that requires access to all computers.

"Typically in the past years, in order for IT to be able to do upgrades, we would tell everyone to leave the computers on," said Bob Oehler, director of facilities services and chairman of the sustainability task force that broached the idea. "A culture has developed that when you leave at night, you leave your computer on."

While that method allows for easy network access, it also has meant a bigger electric bill. Not counting daytime standby switches, university staff members estimate overnight hibernation should save at least $30,000 a year. The program will cost about $25,000 to install after grants.

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