Dump CRT monitors
Replacing older computers and peripherals with Energy Star-rated equipment can save energy and space, and the decreased power consumption can significantly reduce the need for cooling in office areas. Start with CRT displays.
Most businesses have already begun phasing out CRTs in favour of more- efficient LCDs, which use about one-third of the power, but there are still plenty of CRTs waiting to go.
Slim Down the Client
For the desktop, look for equipment that is Energy Star 4.0-compliant. Previous Energy Star ratings looked only at low-power modes, but "with this new version, we're comparing energy use while working," the EPA's Kaplan says. Computers that meet the standard consume 20% to 50% less energy than those that meet previous Energy Star standards, she says.
Compact PC models, such as Lenovo's ThinkCentre A61e desktop or Dell's Inspiron 531, are more power-efficient than standard desktops and save space as well. (The A61e is about the size of a 3-inch-thick notebook binder.) Compact PCs may use as little as half the power of a desktop. They also include Energy Star 4.0-mandated high-efficiency power supplies that are at least 80% efficient, as well as low-speed fans that reduce noise levels.
Replacing PCs with thin clients and a presentation server requires adding servers on the back end that boost power demand, the savings on the desktop more than make up for that, says Jeff McNaught, chief marketing officer at thin client company Wyse. With the 64-bit edition of Presentation Server running on the back end, three 800-watt servers can accommodate 1,000 PCs. That's about 3 watts per client, he says.
Waghray says thin clients had other benefits in Verizon's call centers, where equipment density is high and space is at a premium. "We have seen a reduction in cooling needs for the whole building," he says.
For all their energy-saving benefits, thin clients won't work in every case. Northrup Grumman's space technology sector is rolling out 3,000 thin clients and has tested 39 engineering applications. While most of the programs ran just fine on the thin clients, a few graphics-intensive ones didn't work, says Clayton Kau, vice president of engineering.
Other companies have encountered user resistance. Gwinnett Hospital System has dabbled in thin clients but has stalled at around 100 terminals because many employees prefer to have fully equipped desktops that run their applications locally.