Software saves computer power

Oxford University researchers are planning to develop software which could to save much more energy than the regular standby mode in computers.

The team plans to make the software, which will make networked computers more energy-efficient and thereby reduce carbon emissions, easy and free to download from the project website.

Many offices do not make effective use of currently available energy-saving features. The team will use the software in an 18-month pilot scheme in Oxford University’s own departments as a test-bed for energy saving technology across all operating systems. The researchers will monitor the reduction in energy usage and its success in cutting costs.

In UK businesses and institutions it is estimated that up to 50 per cent of work computers are permanently switched on. Many workplace computers are permanently switched on for 168 but are only used for 40 hours a week.

The team anticipates an average reduction in energy consumption of around 50 per cent in the university’s stock of computers and a reduction in carbon emissions of up to 1,500 tonnes per year. An additional benefit will be cost savings of around £250,000 per year.

By making the software free and available to download, the researchers hope other UK educational institutions and corporate ICT systems will use it and significantly reduce carbon emissions.