Turning off computers saves thousands at Coventry University

A new power management project has saved Coventry University over £2,000 during its first month – equating to more than 11.5 tonnes of CO2.

By using an upgraded desktop PC management system, the University’s IT Services department is able to reduce power demand significantly by remotely switching to ‘sleep’ mode any computer that people have forgotten to turn off.

Beginning in April, the energy saving project was rolled out across the campus and after just one month the computers were working 34% more efficiently.

These electricity savings are set to continue each month, but the project doesn’t only save energy– it also saves time by installing essential updates during quiet periods when the computer is not in use. Added to the faster access time, as the PCs do not need to fully ‘boot up’ each morning, the all round performance has been improved for staff and students alike.

The Power Management project idea was originally pitched to the University’s management team as part of a Dragon’s Den style event where staff could ‘sell’ new ideas. With a return on investment expected in only eight months, IT Services is confident it will be handing back a considerable portion of the cash secured – possibly 25% of the original 35k funding.

Coventry University was recently ranked in the top quarter of higher education institutions for its environmental performance in the People & Planet Green League 2012. Highlighting the University’s commitment to green initiatives and carbon reduction, with projects such as ‘green@cu’ – an innovative energy saving scheme that works with students to reduce their carbon footprints.

In 2011, Coventry University was also presented with a national Green Gown award by the Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges (EAUC) in recognition of its innovative inter-building Carbon Challenge competition which has delivered over 2,000,000 kWh of reduced consumption.

Elise Smithson, deputy director of environment and of the Low Impact Buildings Centre at Coventry University, said: “The implementation of the power management project is a significant boost to carbon reduction on campus; the summer should be an especially good time for savings when many students and staff are away from the campus.  The scheme should achieve more than half of the annual target of 500 tonnes of carbon reduction on a permanent on-going basis.  Anything convenient like this is a good example of initiatives being good for customer experience as well as the environment.”