If you're a green schools advocate, you’re used to championing energy efficiency initiatives. However, it can be very challenging for sustainability professionals with no background in computer networking to advocate for changes related to information technology. You really need a “green IT” expert by your side.
During our April 10 webcast, we explored how computer networks and data centers present numerous opportunities to reduce energy costs. Examples include configuring computers to automatically drop into a low power "sleep mode" when inactive, saving $10-$100 per computer annually, according to Energy Star.
The Energy Star Low Carbon IT Campaign, a nationwide effort to assist and recognize organizations for reducing the energy consumed by their IT equipment, provides school districts contemplating IT energy efficiency measures with free phone consultations. Energy Star’s technical experts answer questions, address concerns and save your IT colleagues hours of work researching and testing solutions. Setting up a call between your IT manager and a green IT expert can transform your initiative from an abstract idea into a concrete implementation plan in as little as an hour.
Energy Star has helped dozens of school districts, such as New London Public Schools, reduce their energy costs. Now that the district’s 2,600 computers automatically shut down at 6:00 p.m. every weekday, the district is paying nearly $100,000 less for electricity every year. The solution they deployed provides New London’s IT administrator with a very easy way to configure each computer to save energy—no matter what platform it runs on (Microsoft, Apple, Chrome, etc.). It’s also easy to exclude a handful of computers that need to stay on overnight for remote access or other reasons.