Ford Saves $1 Million By Powering Down Computers

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.”

Related Reading:

How To Vanquish Costly Energy Vampires From Your Home

Kid Power: The Answer to the Energy Crisis?

Hawaiian Utility Company Moves to Block Solar Energy

Image Credit: Flickr Creative Commons - archie4oz


LMj Sunshine

Hope more companies have followed Ford.

LMj Sunshine

Hope more companies have followed Ford.

LMj Sunshine

Hope more companies have followed Ford.

LMj Sunshine

Hope more companies have followed Ford.

Dave C.
David C.5 years ago

now if we could get them to make more fuel efficient cars and more people to place their computers off or in lower energy settings....

Beng Kiat Low
low beng kiat6 years ago


Mike K.6 years ago

good for Ford! Saving money and energy...

Judith H.

Great to see something sensible being done and hopefully jobs saved too.!! Not often one hears of something that is this simple and effective in savings.

Jewels S.
Jewels S.6 years ago

They probably didn't do it before because some say it is better for your computer to be left on than turning it on/off everyday. Don't know if it is a myth or not but most companies I have worked for had us keep the computer on for that reason.

Janice P.
Janice P.6 years ago

I don't understand why this should be news; it's just like turning out the lights when you leave the room or turning off the tv when you leave the house. It's just common sense. But, I guess, common sense a little late is better than no common sense at all.