Saving money and being greener

As the number of electrical devices in our offices increases, such as computers, monitors and printers, so does the amount of electricity being consumed.  Electrical power is now a real tangible cost to businesses as most of this equipment consumes power for the entire duration they are turned on. However, most modern devices have built in ‘power saving’ modes that can be enabled to reduce this cost. We have identified a few ways to save power on common Office equipment including computers, printers and servers.


Do you leave your computer running at the end of the day because you do not want to wait for it to boot up in the morning? Windows has an option that allows you to place your computer in a temporary state of rest that can quickly be resumed to full use and consumes less energy than leaving your computer running.

Adjusting Windows Power Options
  • Go to Windows ‘Control Panel'
  •  Select ‘Power Options'
  • We recommend that at the very least you set the screen to sleep after a defined (i.e. 10 minutes) of inactivity; this simply sets the screen to a very low power consumption mode, as long as no keys are pressed and the mouse remains inactive.
  • Press any key or move the mouse to return to normal
If you have a network of computers and a Windows Server these settings can be defined centrally as a one-off activity and automatically ‘pushed’ to all connected computers.


Power Saving

Printers consume power continually if they are left running, laser printers being the most offending type as they need to keep their internal components warm ready to print. Most printers  have sleep mode setting that after a definable period of time (i.e. 20 minutes) they will go into a very low powered state. Once a print job is sent the printer will ‘wake’ up quickly and start printing normally, the typical added delay is only 3 minutes.

Save Paper

Paper consumption is a big issue for most offices but this can be reduced by adjusting the default printer options to duplex (both sides). If this feature is available on your printer you will find a duplex option in your printer settings.

Save Ink

Set your printer settings to default to Mono (Black and White) to reduce the costs of expensive colour inks and toners. Also use the ‘draft’ print quality setting to reduce the amount of ink used. Both these options will also speed up print jobs considerably. These settings can be manually overridden on each print job as required.


Unused Equipment

Ensure any equipment that is not being used is powered down fully but do not use any power saving modes, other than turning screens off.


‘Virtualisation’ is a new concept whereby a small piece of software is installed on your server which divides up your server resources i.e. CPU, memory and hard disk space, installing multiple editions of Windows. This reduces the number of physical servers required, e.g. 8 servers running at 20% capacity can be consolidated to 2 servers. Warning – never consolidate all your servers to 1 virtualised server as if there is a hardware issue, everything will be affected.

Temperature Control

Air Conditioning is required in most server environments however it is worth checking the temperature it is trying to maintain as this can be excessive and expensive. By using a simple thermometer to check the temperature it is possible to decrease the demand on you’re A/C, Google recommends 26.7C or 80F.

Like most modern technology, monitors should have built in power saving modes which should be enabled and set to the desired levels.