Reduce energy consumption
The simplest and most effective way to reduce the energy consumed by ICT equipment is to turn it off or activate power saving modes when not in use.
The ICT Sustainability Plan sets an energy use target to reduce desktop ICT energy from a baseline of 630 kWh in 2009 to 250 kWh by 2015. The target takes into account the energy use of desktops, laptops, thin clients, monitors, printers, multifunction devices and peripherals.
Turn off computers and equipment when not in use
Despite obvious energy saving benefits, not all Australian Government desktop computers are turned off, or put into an energy saving sleep mode, when not in use. Reflecting this, the ICT Sustainability Plan requires that 90 per cent of all desktop computers be shut down after hours, excluding those that cannot be shut down due to operational reasons .
Entities not already shutting down computers overnight should consider enabling an automated shut down solution or implement a policy requiring staff to turn off their computers when they leave work. Where overnight software updates are required for computers, technologies such as Wake-on-LAN  can be used to remotely turn on computers, allowing the updates to take place. It is important to also make sure computers are automatically shut down once the updates are completed.
|CHECK: Has your organisation put in place a mechanism or policy for shutting down computers overnight?|
Set equipment to low power modes when not in use
Power management is an important feature that can switch a device into a low power mode, if it has not been used for a predetermined period of time. While a power management capability is built into computers and operating systems, this feature is often not enabled or activated, or power management settings may be inadvertently disabled or set to excessively long time delays. For Australian Government desktop computers in use during 2009, only 25 per cent had power management enabled, compared to 94 per cent of the computer monitors .
All equipment bearing the ENERGY STAR logo has power management features installed. It is important that power management is enabled by IT staff with appropriate time delays to reduce energy consumption. Time delays measured in minutes, rather than hours, will save considerably more energy. More recent innovations, implemented by some entities, include controlling individual power settings over the network and deploying software that can monitor usage patterns and identify any power saving opportunities of networked computers. Such software can be used as a powerful tool to educate users and encourage power-saving behaviour.
|CHECK: Has your organisation enabled power management features on all ICT equipment, in particular, desktop computers?|
Procuring more energy efficient equipment
When procuring ICT equipment, entities should consider the power consumption as part of normal life cycle costing. Information about the energy consumption of equipment is generally available on product websites and can also be requested from the manufacturer. In addition to considering power consumption in various energy modes, entities should consider the Typical Energy Consumption (TEC)  of ICT equipment. TEC is a key component of the ENERGY STAR rating and is calculated using pre-defined times in each item of equipment operating modes to provide the typical power consumption during normal use. TEC can provide more realistic comparisons between devices than power consumption in various modes.
|Laser printers consume power, not only when printing, but also when warming up and powering down. The TEC captures this overall energy use.|
For a device to bear the ENERGY STAR label, it must have a TEC below a certain level. The specific TEC levels are updated on a periodic basis when the ENERGY STAR version itself is updated. As part of the procurement process, entities should ensure that the equipment is certified to the most recent version, rather than an older, less stringent version . Agencies will also procure more energy efficient and environmentally preferred ICT equipment by applying the mandatory environmental standards (ES1 and ES2) of the ICT Sustainability Plan 2010-2015.
|CHECK: Is your organisation applying the mandatory environmental standard (ES1 and ES2) of the ICT Sustainability Plan 2010-2015 when procuring ICT equipment?|
 DSEWPaC, ICT Sustainability Plan 2010-2015, p.19. The 90 per cent shutdown overnight target applies from January 2011 and is only for computers other than those that cannot be turned off due to their operational importance.
 Wake-on-LAN is a technology that allows networked computers to be turned on remotely via the network.
 Equipment Energy Efficiency Committee, Proposed Minimum Energy Performance Standards for Computers and Computer Monitors, Supplementary Information, p.35.
 TEC is defined as part of the ENERGY STAR Requirements for the relevant equipment type. TEC is a method of testing and comparing the energy performance of certain types of equipment and focuses on the typical electricity consumed by a product while in normal operation during a representative period of time, typically a week. For example, see: www.downloads.energystar.gov.
 7 Entities should also be aware of proposed Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) Regulations for computers and computer monitors (scheduled to be implemented in Australia from October 2012). The proposed MEPS Regulations will require all new computers and computer monitors sold in Australia to be compliant with at least ENERGY STAR version 5.2 (computers) and version 5.0 (monitors). Refer to: www.energystar.gov.au.
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