We got a few shiny new flat screen monitors at FreshBooks recently (the old ones will be donated to the Electronic Recycling Association). When researching the best way to configure the power settings, I was surprised at the difference just a few changes like these can really make:
- Put your monitor to sleep. Monitors use one third of your computer’s energy consumption. Screen savers don’t save energy, they protect your screen from “burn in”, so when you’re away from your desk for more than 15 minutes, either turn the monitor off or set your power management settings to send the monitor to sleep or power off. Mac users, go to System Preferences > Energy Saver. In Windows, go to Start > Control Panel > Power Options, or follow detailed instructions for Macs and PCs.
- Go flat. When buying a new monitor, consider a flat screen — they use 1/3 the energy (and laptops use 1/4 the energy of a desktop).
- End of day. Turn off your monitor (and computer and printer) if you’re away for more than 2 hours and at the end of every day. If you want to go the extra step, and save up to 2% on your energy bill, unplug your computer and printer (as well as your iPod, Blackberry, cell phone chargers, etc) when you leave, or go on holiday. If it makes it easier, plug things into a power strip and unplug the power strip.
What difference will it make? You’ll save money and reduce the amount of CO2 that goes into the atmosphere.