Energy-saving software can save lazy computer users money, UK researchers say

University of Liverpool researchers have developed software called PowerDown that they say could save big organizations close to $17K per month simply by automating the shutoff of computer systems not being used.

One particularly egregious abuser of energy is universities with round-the-clock libraries, which the researchers said could be burning more than a million hours of unused computer power monthly. PowerDown, which is being used at several such academic facilities, is set to shut down computers after a half hour's idleness, though can be configured to let computers stay on if they are being used for longterm projects, etc.

Lisa Nelson, from the University's Computing Services Department, who designed the software, said in a statement:

"An average PC, left on for 24 hours a day but used for only 40 hours a week, uses around 17kW of electricity, of which 13kW is wasted. That figure does not take into consideration other costs such as in air-conditioned buildings, where additional cooling is required to remove the heat created by active computers."

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