SAVES YOU MONEY
Ecologically, the savings are also significant. The U.S. EPA "Energy Star Program" promotes activities that lead to reduced power usage. According to their literature
"Electricity generation is a source of air pollution, accounting for 35 percent of all U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide, 75 percent of sulfur dioxide, and 38 percent of nitrogen oxides" ….
"Lighting accounts for 20-25 percent of all electricity use in the United States. If everyone in the country used energy-efficient lighting, the nation could save - and reinvest- about $16 billion per year, and could reduce carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur dioxide emissions from utilities by up to 12 percent."
"Computers currently account for 5 percent of commercial electricity consumption. … This could rise to 10 percent by the year 2020. As many as 30-40 percent of personal computers are left running at night and on weekends." … "Look for computer products with the Energy Star Logo. Together we could save enough electricity each year to power Vermont and New Hampshire, to cut electricity bills by $2 billion, and reduce carbon dioxide pollution equal to the emissions from 5 million automobiles."
As you can see, the savings to our environment are substantial. When evaluating the cost of adding any external control devices, keep the environmental aspects of saving energy in mind. Even though they don’t add to the bottom line directly, they do add to the quality of life for us all.
So what does it cost me to add these controllers? In some cases, you already have them installed. If your computer was purchased in the last couple of years, it may have energy saving capabilities already built in. You will need to check your documentation, and make sure that the features are enabled. In many cases, a screen saver will be activated that does nothing for saving power, or your operating system does not support the feature. Other office equipment may also have energy saving features. Check to see if they are enabled. If you find that any of your equipment does not have the "automatic shut down" features, external devices are your answer. The cost of these devices vary according to their function, but generally run in the $40 to $200 range. In most cases they will pay for themselves in 6 months to 2 years by saving electricity, AC, and equipment wear costs. And remember, they also help save the environment.
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