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Every time we leave on computers when not in use, we are wasting electricity. Following are a few simple tips to consider:
Turn off all desktop computers and peripheral devices, including monitors and storage media devices, at night and during any prolonged absence such as weekends or vacation time. Turning off the equipment at night can cut the annual energy costs from $185 to $97 per computer. Contrary to popular belief, turning equipment on and off does not shorten the life span of computers or related equipment.
Computer manufacturers provide Energy Star power-management features that allow you to program your computer to go into "sleep" mode after a certain time interval. Information Services recommends that you set your power management to turn off your monitor after 10 minutes and your hard disks after 20 minutes. See Power Management for PC and Mac instructions for setting power management.
Limit screen-saver use. A screen saver does not save energy. In fact, more often than not, a screen saver not only will draw power for the monitor, but also will keep the CPU from shutting down. You can set your computer to go from screen-saver to sleep mode.
Purchase flat-screen monitors. They use significantly less energy and are not as hard on the eyes.