How much are you paying each year to run your computer? If you’re a gamer with a tricked out graphics card, upwards of $400. If you’re a weekend web surfer who turns off the computer at night and when you’re at work, maybe $5. (estimates here) How much power are you wasting? Tens of thousands, maybe even millions, of watt-hours per year.
Microsoft says it can save the planet millions of pounds of CO2 and you as much as $100 a year with its new energy-monitoring tool Edison, developed by the start-up Verdium, and announced in partnership with the non-profit Climate Savers Computing Initiative. (The “virtual” press conference video is here.) Edison, which is only for Windows right now, is the consumer version of expensive corporate energy managing software. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, as many as 90 percent of desktops are simply left on continuously when turned on.
While other energy managing tools exist, Edison gives consumers the most flexibility in designing settings. Users can set up work and non-work schedules so that computer can shift into standby. Running desktops plus monitors typically use about 150 to 350 watts per hour. Laptops use 15-45. By contrast, sleeping machines use 1-6. Edison users can also choose from several options for power settings, and create estimated savings reports. Microsoft says it can eliminate 70 million pounds of C02 if Edison is downloaded on 100 million PCs (about 10 percent worldwide). The company is starting with a more modest target of 10 million PCs.