PC power consumption: does it really matter?

More than 30 billion kilowatt-hours (108 petajoules) of energy is wasted because many of us simply forget to shut down our computers when we aren’t using them.

If we could improve the efficiency of how we use our PCs, the value of energy saved would be over $3 billion dollars! What’s more the CO2 emissions from just 15 computers are equivalent, in energy terms, to the gas consumption of one car!

Verdiem Corporation is a company that has helped enterprises, the World over, reduce energy waste from IT devices, and with its free download application, Edison, Verdiem is making its money and energy saving technology available to home users.

Localcooling.comEdison system requirements

  • Windows XP (Service Pack 2) or Windows Vista
  • 256MB RAM
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer® 5.01 or later
  • 7MB free hard disk space

If .NET 2.0 is not already installed, 280MB of additional disk space required

Application description

Created by Verdiem Corporation, Edison is a free PC energy management tool launched in late August 2008. This easy-to-use application allows users to control their PCs’ energy consumption more effectively. To use the application, users have merely to download Edison, scroll the Savings bar to the desired level of efficiency, set the schedule, and then leave it to run in the background while the PC is on.

You may ask, “But why should I download a free application when I already have control over the power settings of my PC’s monitor, hard-disk and other peripherals?”

Well the answer is simple. With this application you’ll have much more control over when and how your PC decides to turn off its peripherals. Without Edison, to modify the Windows energy saving settings you need to access an option within the Control Panel. This section only offers a crude set of controls that make no allowance for your particular usage patterns: this can be a nuisance especially if your PC is powering down every time you are away from it for a few minutes.

By comparison Edison offers you a far more sophisticated range of PC power management tools. You can tell this free application when you use your computer and also the time when the PC is normally idle so that the software will manage power consumption according to your behavioral and usage patterns. For example if you leave your system on during the night, Edison will know which times you are not on your PC and at those times will increase the energy saving settings to the maximum level possible. You can also input the amount that you pay for your electricity so that Edison will be able to calculate how much it is saving you through managing your PC’s power usage.

Using the Save More feature while you are working will switch off your monitor and hard drive after five minutes of inactivity, and suspend your PC after ten. Alternatively the Save Less setting in the configuration menu means that your display device will be switched off after 30 minutes instead of five, and that your hard drive will be shut down after 45 minutes of idle time. And there are also a whole range of settings between these two extremes.

The Estimated Annual Savings section is where you get a real idea of how much you are saving yourself. Once you have plugged in what your local power company charges per kilowatt hour, Edison will calculate money and energy saved per year, as well as how much carbon dioxide you have stopped from being emitted.

Verdiem Corporation has also launched another tool, called Surveyor, aimed at large to medium-sized corporations instead of home users, which basically performs the same tasks and PC energy saving functions as Edison. However this corporate tool can be installed on multiple computers at the same time, and is managed centrally from one computer (usually the IT administrators’ PC), helping whole companies to reduce energy wastage and to save the environment.

In all, we believe Edison offers concerned people the opportunity to make a difference, with minimal effort, in the fight against the global climate crisis.