Energy misers take aim at PCs

A consortium is working to decrease energy use of PCs and laptops in a shift from the traditional digs at power-hungry data centers.

By Amara Rozgus August 6, 2008

According to an article in the New York Times , Microsoft, the nonprofit Climate Savers Computing Initiative, and a start-up called Verdiem have pooled their efforts by creating and distributing a free software tool to consumers to help them decrease PC energy usage.

The potential savings in both dollars and pollution is huge, analysts say, when the estimated 1 billion PCs in use globally are taken into account. The research firm Gartner estimates that 40% of all carbon dioxide emissions resulting from information technology and telecommunications are attributable to PCs. Data center computers account for 23%, and the rest is attributable to printers and telecommunications equipment.

The free software, called Edison , is a consumer version of the PC energy-saving software sold to corporate customers by Verdiem, which is financed by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a venture capital firm and an aggressive investor in green technologies, and other venture investors.
Verdiem, based in Seattle, has 180 corporate and government customers, including Hewlett-Packard, which bundles Verdiem’s Surveyor program on its desktop PCs sold to corporations.
There are other free tools for calculating and managing PC power consumption, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s EZ Wizard, CO2 Saver, and a Google energy-saving gadget. But Edison allows the user more flexibility, especially in making the settings as stringent as they want, analysts say.