A Greener Outlook

Most businesses don’t run without computers. From desktops to data centers, computing power is a requirement of business. The power, space, and equipment needed to run all that computing power can represent a significant drain on resources. Add to that rising energy costs along with growing computing demands and efficient IT management becomes critical. Two major areas represent both the majority of the drain and easy ways to reap savings.

Workstation Equipment
Computers and monitors are second only to the lights in the consumption of energy in modern offices consuming up to 60% of the energy bill. Since you can’t turn off the lights, you can take some measures to reduce the energy consumption of the computer equipment in your office.

  • Replace CRT monitors with LCD monitors and save about 90W of energy. When replacing equipment, look for trade-in programs or recycle the old parts.  
  • Save even more energy by taking desktops off the desk and replacing them with laptops. A 17-in laptop uses about half as much power as a comparable desktop with a 17-inch LCD monitor.
  • When replacing equipment, look for ENERGY STAR-qualified hardware for maximum energy efficiency. According to Energy Star, if every computer in America was Energy Star-certified, we’d save over $1.5 billion a year and save emissions equivalent to taking 2 million cars off the road.  

Power Management
Data centers use 40 times as much energy as a traditional office building while only using about 15% of their compute capacity. The chillers, pumps, and fans for cooling alone account for 35% of an average computer’s power.

  • Look for hosting options where appropriate to reduce the equipment and power demands of computing. Running email can tie up multiple server resources, while using a hosted email service can reduce that number to zero. File storage is another area that usurps server resources with the potential to manage efficiently and securely off site with an online file storage service.  
  • Implement automated or employee-driven systems to ensure all non-essential equipment is turned off when not in use.
  • Stop using screen savers. Photo or animated screen savers may save screen pixels, but they burn as much power as your system does in full operation.  

These small changes can help you reduce your energy bill and slim down your environmental footprint. Use our Carbon Footprint Calculator to analyze your businesses’ environmental impact.

Lizetta Staplefoote is a Rackspace Marketing Copywriter with a decade of experience writing about small business challenges for healthcare, real estate, and technology. Her passion is researching and writing about the impact of cloud computing. When she's not wordsmithing, she enjoys hanging out with her sons, exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains, and feeding her music addiction.


  1. Thanks for this great information in this time of raising energy crisis and environment pollution.  “If every computer in America was Energy Star-certified, we’d save over $1.5 billion a year and save emissions equivalent to taking 2 million cars off the road.” This are the golden words you said… I am seriously going to check for Energy stars from now on.


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