According to a report by Schneider Electric, retail buildings consume $20 billion in energy each year. So modern retailers are well incentivized to address power efficiency in all areas of their business, including computing hardware. Overall benefits include:
- Identifying possible savings on energy costs
- Achieving sustainability goals (up to 70% of millennials—the generation that now holds the most global spending power—say a company’s environmental focus impacts their purchasing decisions)
- Reducing wear and tear on hardware due to age or configuration
Environmental efficiency initiatives often encompass multiple facets of a business, including how employees commute and alternative power sources. But the hardware your employees depend on to do their jobs - marketing, sales, transportation, service, analysis, stocking - every day can also play a part.
8 Tips to Reduce Your Computing Hardware Energy Footprint
- Consider deploying laptops instead of desktops where possible. Desktops are larger, have more components and require at least one monitor, all of which equates to costing about 3X more to run than laptops.
- Replace any CRT or LCD monitors with LED monitors. LEDs consume less power. Older LCDs use cold cathode fluorescent (CCFL) backlighting which can be up to 30% less power efficient than LED.
- Prioritize high-efficiency power supply units (PSUs) in desktops or workstations. 80 PLUS-certified PSUs waste 20% or less electric energy as heat.
- Utilize Windows 10 Pro energy management. By default, Windows 10 Pro PCs should be sending PCs to sleep after a set amount of time. Do not use screensavers as they keep monitors active and consuming power.
- Buy monitors or AIOs that are ENERGY STAR-certified. This certification designates monitors such as ThinkVision and ThinkCentre AIO models as, on average, 25% more energy efficient than those without certification
- Consider solid-state drives for storage on laptops or desktops. Because SSDs don’t have to spin up a hard disk from standstill they don’t waste energy as friction or noise. This equates to energy cost savings on desktops and longer battery life on laptops.
- Regularly scan PCs for malware, junkware and bloatware. These unnecessary apps may be running in the background, consuming energy and disabling sleep mode.
- Finally, is it more efficient to turn off a PC vs putting it into sleep mode? Any devices manufactured in the last 6-8 years will draw minimal power in sleep mode, so it makes little difference whether you completely power down or not. The key is to ensure devices enter sleep mode when not being used, and are not woken inadvertently by software running in the background when left unattended.