One of the only major U.S. auto manufacturers to refuse a government bailout during the most recent economic crisis, Ford has announced a new program that is expected to save them over $1 million in energy costs.
While the savings might sound staggering, the simplicity of the program’s basic concept is even more shocking- turning computers off at night instead of leaving them running.
Under a new program called PC Power Management, the power settings on Ford’s Windows laptops and desktop computers will be centrally controlled to reduce energy waste and optimize software updates. A managed shutdown of computer systems not in use, especially overnight and on weekends, will further reduce energy use, according to a press release.
The savings to the company on power cost alone is expected to top $1.2 million annually when the system is fully implemented. By reducing PC power consumption, Ford also stands to reduce its carbon footprint by an estimated 16,000 to 25,000 metric tons annually.
“In the past, as many as 60 percent of Ford’s PC users haven’t shut their PCs off at the end of the business day, resulting in wasted energy,” said Keith Forte, Ford IT project supervisor. “Going forward, we’ll be able to manage PC power consumption more efficiently while minimizing interruptions during the working day as a result of software updates.”
Ford should be proud of this announcement, even though one would think that with the financial troubles they’ve been having lately, these kinds of cut backs would have been obvious.
Nevertheless, this is one example of a large scale solution that is still applicable for the individual consumer. Did you know that the average household went from three electronic gadgets in 1980 to around 25 in more recent years?
Even for average families, personal computers, iPods, cellphones, game consoles are constantly plugged in and consuming energy, even when they are not actually switched on. This is commonly referred to as “idle current usage” or “vampire energy.”
Image Credit: Flickr Creative Commons - archie4oz