Energy Awareness Month Can Lead to Year-Round Savings

October 24, 2018

Posted by Chris Sanders

Sustainability

 

Since 1991, October has been Energy Awareness Month. As the temperatures begin to drop and thermostats are turned up, it’s the perfect time to think about becoming energy-efficient.

Electricity consumption in the commercial sector in the U.S. last year was approximately 1.35 trillion kilowatt hours (kWh). With a national average of 10.54 cents per kWh, companies spend more than $142 billion on electricity. The EPA reports that one PC left on overnight wastes between $25 and $75 in electricity a year. Organizations across a number of sectors are becoming more conscious of their energy consumption, with financial and operations departments leading the charge to reduce costs and support sustainability initiatives.

Reducing the Carbon Footprint and Demonstrating CSR

The majority of electricity generated in the U.S. is produced from fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas, and is one of the leading sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Development of sustainable business practices leads to efficient operations that streamline effort and conserve resources, which enhances employee productivity and reduces cost.

Companies can also leverage such corporate social responsibility (CSR) to attract talent, specifically millennials who make up more than 35% of the workforce. More than 75% of this generation considers a company’s social and environmental commitments when deciding where to work, and nearly two-thirds won’t take a job if a potential employer doesn’t have strong CSR practices.

Saving Energy and Money

Energy represents about 19% of total expenditures for the typical office building, which is a significant operational cost deserving of management attention. Computers account for 17% of energy consumption in large office and college campuses, and 22% for municipal governments. The majority of workers not only leave their computers on all the time, but many also disable energy-saving settings to avoid perceived inconveniences.

Most companies lack good systems for accessing energy data quickly or in a form that provides actionable information. Your utility company may offer free business energy audits for its commercial customers. Combining the findings of such an audit with a PC power management solution can result in significant savings for many organizations. Some solutions also include savings reports, providing insight into user activity or inactivity, power state transitions and policy settings across all devices.

Minimizing Maintenance Disruptions

Computer downtime can have a serious effect on employee performance levels. It not only affects morale, but also customer satisfaction and business revenue. The average business suffers around 14 hours of downtime each year, during which time employees are only able to work at 63% of their usual performance.

IT staff members need to upgrade, patch, and maintain the computer fleet during off hours to reduce disruptions to productivity, so they must be able to access machines at any given time. As a result, IT departments may be reluctant to embrace power management solutions. Reliable wake capabilities is an essential component of a PC power management solution to ensure that IT can perform maintenance at any given time. Most solutions can be maintained with minimal added work -- between five and 10 hours a month on maintenance and troubleshooting.

Continuing Focus Every Day

Energy awareness is a year-round activity. A PC management solution with enterprise wake capabilities can help finance, facilities and IT achieve their objectives. The software can be installed quickly, and most companies realize a return on their investment within a year.

In addition to helping your company’s profitability and ensuring system reliability, your actions can make a real difference to the environment. By implementing changes, your organization will have a smaller carbon footprint, which ultimately benefits future generations.