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Archive for the ‘Carbon Reduction Commitment’ Category

Reducing carbon dioxide emissions and saving costs through IT Power Management

November 13, 2010 1 comment

Large organisations can make HUGE savings in reducing the IT energy wasted.

Ideally, all organisations should have policies in place which state a PC should be turned off or put into a low power mode when not in use. Practically, this does not always happen though. This can be addressed through effective communication and marketing though.

As mentioned in earlier blog posts, IT is an enabler to other organisations in reducing costs, reducing energy usage and reducing carbon emissions.

Electricity prices are rising and organisations are generally looking for cost saving measures. It is therefore best to apply PC power management settings.

However, it seems (as I’ve been told many times!), setting an individual’s own PC’s power management to sleep/standby (depending on the machines operating system) or hibernate mode appears to confuse some users and is not as user friendly.

There are a number of software products that can:-

  • automatically power down PCs
  • close down applications
  • encourage user engagement
  • measure energy consumption
  • provide reporting
  • save open documents

Some provide more accurate measurement and auditable reporting, as is required for the UK’s Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) Energy Efficiency Scheme.

There are a number of companies globally who have saved costs and reduced their energy usage and carbon footprint through IT power management tools.

Bearing in mind, it’s not just overnight when PCs and monitors should be turned off or put into lower power mode – lunch breaks, time spent in meetings or away from the desk collectively in an organisation can be quite considerable!

There is often a need for some PCs to be left on though, to support particular critical business processes.

    • Are maintenance and upgrades provided free?
    • Can PCs be switched on automatically as well?
    • Does it run on client/server or is it web-based?
    • How would you know which PC Power Management product fits the needs of your business and is the most cost effective?
    • Is it pricing per device?
    • What are the features?
    • What are the set up costs?

Author: Tripta
Company: Giving Time and Solutions Ltd
Company website: http://givingtimeandsolutions.com
Professional profile: http://bit.ly/ZqZrDu
Date created: 13 November 2010 4.00pm

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Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme – changes since the Spending Review

October 28, 2010 Leave a comment

Following on from the Spending Review last week, the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) Energy Efficiency Scheme have had some changes.

1. The first allowance sales will be in 2012, not 2011.

2. The revenues from the allowance sales will no longer be recycled to the participants. Instead this will be given to support the public finances.

Author: Tripta
Company: Giving Time and Solutions Ltd
Company website: http://givingtimeandsolutions.com
Professional profile: http://bit.ly/ZqZrDu
Date created: 28 October 2010 12.00pm

How dependent are we on technology and how ‘Green’ can we realistically be?

September 2, 2010 1 comment

In Chapter 3 (Climate Change and the Low Carbon Society) of the Greening IT book, (please see website link 2 below) Irene N.Sobotta writes:-

On a global level IT is responsible for 2% of global greenhouse gas gases. However, the remaining 98% is seen as an opportunity for IT to help solve the problem. It can provide the technological fixes we need to reduce a large amount of greenhouse gas emissions from other sectors of society and obtain a rapid stabiliser of global greenhouse gas emissions”

Technology is used globally and its use is increasing. The key thing to remember is that Green IT is an enabler to other sectors.

Think about what you’re doing, and reuse and recycle as much as you can.

Key ‘R’ words to remember – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle……be Realistic

WEBSITE REFERENCE

NO. WEBSITE LINK DESCRIPTION
1. http://givingtimeandsolutions.com Giving Time and Solutions Ltd
2. http://greening.it/  Greening IT book

Author: Tripta
Company: Giving Time and Solutions Ltd
Company website: http://givingtimeandsolutions.com
Professional profile: http://bit.ly/ZqZrDu
Date created: 2 September 2010 10.00am

To turn it on or to turn if off overnight? But why wait for legislation to make the ‘right changes’?

March 27, 2010 1 comment

I read about the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) legislation on a website, which is due to come into effect in April 2010.

The CRC affects major supermarkets and high street chains, as well as other private and public sector organisations who consume a lot of electricity.

But why have organisations had to wait for this legislation to make the right changes to reduce their energy and carbon footprint?

I once worked with the Rising Tide voluntary organisation (please see website link 1 below), and we actually went out on a mission at night to see which businesses left their lights on. I prefer not to say who, but there were quite a few from different business sectors.

However, some had automatic settings installed to turn the lighting off at a particular time (a bit like power management for a PC you might say…. Green IT!), others used low energy light bulbs (a bit like putting a PC into sleep or hibernate mode, or having an energy efficient PC which uses less electricity …Green IT yet again!),  a few only had the lighting in the shop/office window displays  and others (I was told) needed them for the security purposes.

There were a few where it seemed the lighting was not needed, such as those near street lighting or where the lights were left on across the entire office floor.

The organisation which had the entire floor lighting left on had one person working past office working hours. Was the whole office lighting really needed for one person though?

There were even some plasma screens (notice the plural!) showing the same information in a few shop/offices window displays which were left on all night.

  • How much energy is being consumed because of all this?
  • What are the reasons organisations do what they do?

Start thinking ‘reduce energy, reduce carbon emissions and reduce costs’.

Green IT again!  This is almost similar to those who leave their personal computers on overnight…..ish. Although I have to say, the most common reason I hear is because people do not want to wait for a PC to boot up first thing in the morning as it’s too slow. That all depends on the machine itself, connection to the network, what is running in the login script, etc.

To leave a PC running overnight is going to use up electricity and therefore increase the IT carbon footprint and costs. Again, some might say there is a need to leave the PC on overnight. For instance – to run updates, software updates, hardware upgrades, database scripts, etc. The main reason given tends to be because it is to cause less impact to the daily business activities….which is a good enough reason.  Is that the right option though?

Personally, I feel people are so used to working a certain way; a change in behaviour is required. If you do have to wait a couple of minutes for the PC to boot up, maybe you can do something else during that time.

Where there are quick wins in Green IT, the savings in cost and IT carbon footprint can be made mainly by asking people to change the way they work.

It’s all about raising the awareness and using effective communication. Once people realise the benefits and start incorporating these changes, it all becomes part of the norm.

This is where a Green IT evaluation is required, which is basically an assessment of the business processes and systems. The right Green IT recommendations/solutions are then given to reduce the IT energy usage and carbon footprint. Those which will cause less impact to the business activities and meet the needs which are fit for purpose.

If you do need to have a system process running on after office hours, let’s say between 6pm and 8pm, there are a number of ways to automatically turn off the PC when it is not being used.  For example, settings can be applied to turn off PCs at a particular time (a bit like the automatic lights settings), or when there is detection that there has been no activity on the PC for a certain duration.

One of the buzz words in Green IT is power management.  Some PCs are already built with power management settings and there are some organisations which are controlling the power management centrally for all their PCs. The power settings can actually be done manually on the PC itself anyway, and this is what I advise people to do initially.

So whether it’s to turn off lights or PCs overnight, a sensible decision has to be made to reduce costs and carbon emissions. There are always going to be a number of choices to make which each have pros and cons.

Reduce and Think Green.

Author: Tripta
Company: Giving Time and Solutions Ltd
Company website: http://givingtimeandsolutions.com
Professional profile:  http://bit.ly/ZqZrDu
Date created: 27 March 2010 11.30am