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Energy Saving Tips: hibernate computers & take stairs

March 13, 2017 3:11 PM

There are many ways in which students and faculty can play their part in energy conservation at UMBC. The campus has reduced carbon emissions by 15.5%  since 2007 (when President Hrabowski signed the commitment to carbon neutrality) and aims to achieve 20% reductions by 2020. 

Taking the stairs not only improves your health, it conserves energy usage. According to figures provided by elevator manufacturer Kone, a typical hydraulic elevator in a three-story office building uses 3,800 kilowatt-hours per year, or about as much as the average American home uses in four months. A traction elevator in a 10-story building might use about five-and-a-half times as much energy. (Source)

Turning off the lights when you leave a room can save 20 % of electricity costs.

As stated by the Sierra Club, one of the oldest, largest and most influential grassroots environmental organizations in the U.S., artificial light accounts for approximately 44 percent of the electricity used in office buildings and studies have shown that free, natural light can actually brighten your mood.

Turning off computers in labs when they are not in use can save 400 watts per computer.

Studies conducted through the Sierra Club have shown that 60 percent of the energy used to run an entire desktop comes from the monitor alone. So use sleep/hibernate mode instead of screen savers. 

Set your computer to automatically sleep or hibernate today! 

Not sure how? Check out these how to guides:

Use sleep mode and power management features on your computer to save money on your energy bill.

Use sleep mode and power management features on your computer to save money on your energy bill.


If you wonder when you should turn off your personal computer for energy savings, here are some general guidelines to help you make that decision.

Though there is a small surge in energy when a computer starts up, this small amount of energy is still less than the energy used when a computer is running for long periods of time. Spending a large portion of time in low-power mode not only saves energy but helps equipment run cooler and last longer.

One misconception, carried over from the days of older mainframe computers, is that equipment lasts longer if it is never turned off.For energy savings and convenience, consider the following guidelines:

  • Turn off the monitor if you aren't going to use your PC for more than 20 minutes.
  • Turn off both the CPU and monitor if you're not going to use your PC for more than 2 hours.

Make sure your monitors, printers, and other accessories are on a power strip/surge protector. When this equipment is not in use for extended periods, turn off the switch on the power strip to prevent them from drawing power even when shut off. If you don't use a power strip, unplug extra equipment when it's not in use.

Most PCs reach the end of their "useful" life due to advances in technology long before the effects of being switched on and off multiple times have a negative impact on their service life. The less time a PC is on, the longer it will "last." PCs also produce heat, so turning them off reduces building cooling loads.

Note that screen savers are not energy savers. Using a screen saver may in fact use more energy than not using one, and the power-down feature may not work if you have a screen saver activated. In fact, modern LCD color monitors do not need screen savers at all.


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