Switching Off Idle Computers to Save Ford $1.2M

Switching Off Idle Computers to Save Ford $1.2M

Ford Motor Company expects to save at least $1.2 million in power costs and reduce its carbon footprint by as many as 25,000 metric tons a year with a new PC power management system developed with NightWatchman software from 1E Inc.

The system enables a managed shutdown of Windows laptops and desktop computers at Ford so the equipment is not running when there's no one using it.

In the U.S. more than $2.8 billion worth of PC power is wasted annually, according to 1E.

And in the past at Ford, as many as 60 percent of PC users weren't shutting off their computers at the end of the work day, said Ford IT project supervisor Keith Forte. "Going forward, we'll be able to manage PC power consumption more efficiently," Forte said in the company's announcement of its new program.

The centrally controlled system also allows for updates and downloads of other software to occur during off-peak hours for work as well as energy consumption. For example, the system can ensure that computers on Ford's Intranet are awake to receive the new software when employees are not working at their laptops or PCs.

The system works by creating a power profile for each PC in the company. When enabled, the profile monitors PC use patterns and, analyzing that pattern, determines when equipment can be powered down. The system saves open Microsoft Office products before turning off equipment when users are not present. And employees who work late or outside their usual hours are alerted to impending shutdowns and can delay them.

{related_content}The automaker is rolling out its PC Power Management Program to Ford computer users this month and plans to extend it to global Ford operations later this year.

The Power Management Program is Ford's latest initiative to save energy and reduce the carbon footprint of its facilities.

 As an Energy Star partner, the company received its third consecutive Sustained Excellence award this year, which made its fifth consecutive Energy Star honor.

The company says that since 2000, it has improved energy efficiency in its U.S. facilities by almost 35 percent -- about the amount consumed by 150,000 American households annually.

The automaker also encourages employees and customers reduce their personal energy use and carbon footprint by partcipating in the "Change the World, Start with Energy Star" program.

Images and company logo courtesy 1E Inc. with additional logo courtesy of Ford Motor Company.