Michigan Joins Climate Savers Computing Initiative

LANSING, Michigan, April 22, 2008 (ENS) – Governor Jennifer Granholm today announced that Michigan will be joining the Climate Savers Computing Initiative to encourage the utilization of more energy efficient computers and servers in state offices and agencies.

With some 55,000 desktop computers and laptops and nearly 3,700 servers in state government, the annual estimated energy cost savings will be about $955,000, according to estimates from the Climate Savers Computing Initiative. The annual carbon dioxide saving is estimated at 9,000 tons.

State of Michigan inspector goes over a computer for efficiency. (Photo courtesy Government of Michigan)

“We are committed to making a greener Michigan by doing our part to eliminate the wasted power and electricity that increases the emission of greenhouse gases,” Granholm said. “This partnership means greener computing, and it will help our environment and slow global warming while protecting our pocketbooks.”

The Climate Savers Computing Initiative, started by Google and Intel in 2007, is a nonprofit group of consumers, businesses, and conservation organizations.

Its goal is to promote the development, deployment, and adoption of smart technologies that can improve the efficiency of a computer’s power delivery and reduce the energy consumed when the computer is in an inactive state.

The goal of the program is a 50 percent reduction in power consumption by computers by 2010, netting $5.5 billion in global energy savings and an annual reduction of 54 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year. Carbon dioxide, CO2, is the primary greenhouse gas that drives global warming.

By joining the Initiative, the state of Michigan is committing to the purchase of energy efficient computers that will optimize the state’s computing environment and help ease the stress on the natural environment.

Under the terms of the agreement, the state is pledging to purchase high-efficiency computer equipment that meets or exceeds federal Energy Star ratings;

The state will optimize existing computer systems by educating employees about more efficient and effective computer power management strategies, such as better use of hibernation and sleep modes.

Also in subsequent years, the state has pledged to purchase computing equipment with increasing levels of efficiency.

“By participating in the Climate Savers Computing Initiative, the state of Michigan can leverage its purchasing power to achieve improvements in energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Bill Weihl, Google green energy czar and co-chair of the Climate Savers Computing Initiative’s board of directors.

“More importantly,” said Weihl, “the state is helping lead the way to a cleaner and more secure energy future by providing leadership for Michigan residents and businesses looking to reduce their climate impact.”

“The average desktop computer wastes over half of the power delivered to it, while servers spend about one-third of their power,” said Ken Theis, director of the Michigan Department of Information Technology and the state’s chief information officer.

“By moving to energy-efficient desktops and servers, we can reduce the waste to the benefit of the environment as well as our pocketbooks,” said Theis.

Since its launch in June 2007, nearly 200 companies, organizations, and states have joined the initiative, and thousands of individuals have pledged their support. Sponsors include AMD, Delta Electronics, eBay, Fujitsu, Hitachi, Lite-On, Marvell Semiconductor, NEC, Sun and Supermicro.

Earlier this month, the Climate Savers Computing Initiative announced a partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program to accelerate the adoption of energy-saving technology and practices.

Over the next three years, the two organizations will collaborate on technical specifications and work together to promote the adoption of energy efficient personal computers and servers and the use of power management to enterprises and consumers.

For Earth Day, April 22, the software company 1E is urging desk workers in Michigan and across the United States to shut down their computers before leaving work. 1E’s software, NightWatchman, remotely shuts down computers at night, saving any open documents or email. The 1E WakeUp product can turn the computers back on for security patches or employee use in the morning.

If every U.S. worker remembers to turn off his or her computer on this one day, they would prevent the release of 39,452 tons of CO2 emissions, save $4.7 million in utility costs, and reduce energy consumption by 54.3 million kilowatt hours, according to a Harris study commissioned by 1E, and the Alliance to Save Energy.

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