We recommend working through the following five steps when implementing a green desktop computing initiative.

  1. Estimate your energy consumption.
  2. Research what others have done to improve efficiency.
  3. Implement tools to reduce energy consumption.
  4. Communicate to help people do their bit.
  5. Share your experiences with others.

This process is informed by several years of experience working with Colleges, departments and museums at the University. It is designed to encourage you to implement a robust approach to power management and in so doing help others achieve similar results.

Quick Start

Whilst we recommend working through the full programme, if you have already decided to execute a project to reduce desktop power consumption then the following quick start can be used as an implementation check-list.

  1. Implement Power Monitoring

    In order to demonstrate the power and CO2 savings made, you need to implement power monitoring from the outset.

  2. Turn Off Desktop PCs

    Substantial power savings can only be made by powering down desktop PCs when they are not needed. Ideally this is done simply through cultural change - desktop users turn off their PCs at the end of the day to support an organisational goal of reducing unnecessary power consumption.

    However, various factors can make it hard to achieve the desired level of compliance. To help this, a number of technical tools are available to help. In particular the PowerDown tools, developed at Liverpool, offer a low-cost and effective automatic power-down scheme for Windows networks. There are also a number of commercial tools (see an Oxford assessment of the NightWatchman, PowerMAN and Surveyor products).

  3. Overcome Challenges with Wake-on-LAN

    Two of the most common objections to powering down of idle PCs are that it takes a long time for the PC to start the following morning (wasting time), and that PCs need to be turned on to allow remote access (e.g. to work from home).

    The Wake-on-LAN service overcomes these challenges to change by enabling desktops to be automatically powered up on a schedule, or on-demand.

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