Top tips how to make your PC greener

Local Cooling will help lower a computer's energy usage

Green computing is currently at the top of the agenda, especially since the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) initiative came into force at the beginning of the year. To illustrate this, two independent companies have issued ways of making your computer less power-hungry, and thus greener, to use.

Software developer Uniblue has developed a program that will lower a computer's energy use. By simply downloading the small program, users will ensure their computers use less power.

The free application, called Local Cooling , increases the efficiency of the computer's power usage with various energy saving modes. These can be adjusted by the user at any time, and will help save the environment while saving money.

A meter displays how many kilowatt hours have been saved, and the figures are translated into the corresponding usage of oil, or amount of trees saved.

Furthermore, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has issued a few top tips on how to save energy when using your computer.

The NREL is advising computer users to:

  • Turn off all desktop computers and peripheral devices at night, and during any prolonged absence such as weekends or holiday time. Turning off the equipment at night can cut the annual energy costs from 400kWh (kilowatts per hour) to 100kWh per computer.
  • Set your computer to go into 'sleep' mode after a certain time interval. The NREL recommends that power management settings should be programmed to turn off the monitor after 10 minutes and the hard disks after 20 minutes.
  • Limit screen-saver use. A screen saver does not save energy but will draw power for the monitor, and also will keep the CPU from shutting down.
  • Purchase flat-screen monitors. They use significantly less energy.

What is your top energy saving tip? Let us know by leaving a comment below.