Green Initiatives

Chico State Reports Deep Energy Savings with PC Shutdown Software

California State University, Chico has saved an average of 23,000 kWh monthly in its computer labs with the use of Power Save, an application from Faronics that provides network-based power management for Mac OS X and Windows computers.

The university first implemented Power Save in three central campus computer labs in September 2008, according to Ryan Richter, a staff member in Student Computing. The institution already used Deep Freeze, another Faronics utility that locks down a computer's configuration to prevent users from adding or deleting applications.

"One of Chico's strategic goals is sustainability, so we had been investigating several energy savings programs for our labs," Richter said. "We ultimately chose Power Save because we'd had good experiences with Deep Freeze." During the first 10 months of use, product reports showed the campus saving an average of 4800 kWh each month.

In spring 2009, a student sustainability organization provided additional funding to purchase enough licensing to cover several more departmental computer labs. Now, said Richter, Power Save is installed on 800 computer lab machines. "We've been saving an average of 23,000 kWh every month for the last six months!" That's nearly equivalent to the average monthly energy consumption of electrical energy consumption of 25 American households, according to numbers provided by the United States Energy Information Administration.

Power Save works by shutting down computer services based on CPU, disk, keyboard, mouse, and application activity and other factors. Open documents are saved before the machine powers down. The company's Core product provides PC management across the network for both Power Save and Deep Freeze.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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