Cash-Strapped California to Save Millions with PC Power Management

SACRAMENTO, CA — In September 2010, former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed AB 2408 into law, launching an effort to consolidate the state's data centers and save the cash-strapped government hundreds of millions of dollars per year through increased energy efficiency.

Just over six months after that law went on the books, the state has already cut its energy use by enough to power 2,000 homes for a year.

The savings put the state well on its way to achieving the targets set out in AB 2408, of cutting the energy used by ICT equipment by 20 percent by July 1, 2011, and by 30 percent by July 1, 2012.

PC power management technologies and data center consolidation were the two key strategies that the state's Green IT Workgroup used for its Phase One efforts. Through widespread adoption of PC power management, the state expects to save 10 million kilowatt-hours of energy use annually.

And earlier this year, California's Office of Technology Services closed its Cannery data center, which eliminated 75,000 square feet of computing space and will save 12.5 million kWh of energy savings annually.

Together, the efforts will cut nearly 14,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions.

The next steps in the state's green IT work will focus on data collection around energy use and implementing power management for office equipment like printers, copiers, scanners and multi-function devices.

California last year signed up with Verdiem to use that company's Surveyor PC power management software for its green IT efforts. Verdiem last week unveiled a Mac version of its software, further expanding its reach.

The state is far from the only organization to mine the cash savings from IT energy efficiency. At a power management summit in 2009, Verizon showed how it saves $5 million a year in energy costs through power management software, while rival AT&T previously laid out its $13 million in annual savings from PC power management.