Energy consumption and prices always seem to be on the increase. With prices rocketing and climate change very much on people’s minds, there’s never been a more important time to confront your own energy crisis. But this DOESN’T mean cutting your IT resources…
When we think of reducing energy usage our immediate thought, other than the heating and car usage, is perhaps all the tech we have! From phones to laptops, printers and servers, it all uses energy, and that energy is costing more.
Technology provides us all with easy-to-access tools and useful information. In a teaching environment, this helps accelerate learning and provides fun opportunities to practice what you’ve learnt. Technology can help break down barriers and enable students to explore new subjects in creative and different ways, giving a greater understanding of difficult concepts.
If we try to reduce our energy bills by cutting tech, then we run the risk of damaging such a valuable learning resource, so we’re faced with quite an energy challenge.
How much does it all cost?
An average desktop computer uses around 100 watts an hour, or 800 watts for an average 8-hour day (0.8kWh). In October 2021 the UK Price Cap for electricity was 21 pence per kWh, making the cost of running this device 16.80 pence a day. Compare that to the price cap of 52 pence per kWh in October 2022 and you’re now looking at a cost of 41.60 pence a day.
An average server consumes a lot more electricity and needs to be turned on 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. A conservative guess for an average small server would be 5,000 – 8,000 watts (5 – 8 kWh) per day. A cost of 105 – 168 pence per day in 2021, and 260 – 416 pence per day in 2022!
In comparison, let’s take a modern smartphone that charges in around 2 hours. If you drained and charged this every day, it would use around 2,190 – 5,110 watts, a cost of under £3 for the entire year.
What can we do?
- Move to the cloud
In-house servers are not only expensive to run but often come with a whole host of other costs – backup drives, air conditioning, data storage, battery backups, switches etc. By moving your IT network online, to the cloud, you cut out this massive expense. Not only are you saving a giant amount of energy, but most cloud providers have their infrastructures set up in such environmentally responsible ways, that their energy use is also a fraction of what you would have used in-house. Win-win!
- Refresh your tech
With desktop computers using around double the amount of energy compared to a laptop, it may be time to think about updating your tech. It’s not just desktop computers that are power-hungry though. As technology rapidly develops, a lot of older devices become noticeably slower and energy-zapping. Refreshing your technology portfolio with more energy-efficient devices can often be a quick win to saving energy.
- Update your tech
Keeping your devices up to date is not only vital for security but there are sometimes patches and updates available to improve efficiency – and therefore energy use. Most devices also have power settings or energy consumption options, where you can control battery use and standby mode – it’s worth taking a look!
- Turn it off
Sounds simple, but most of us don’t do it. At the end of the day, instead of just closing the lid on your laptop, unplugging it from a large screen, and leaving your phone turned on, try turning them all off. Most take seconds to boot back up, so it’s worth the extra time to save that extra energy.
PrimaryTech is a leading cloud-based technology provider offering a range of products, managed IT services, Hardware & Software and Digital Education Support. If you’re interested in learning more about reducing energy use, saving money and enhancing your technology, please get in touch.
Published: August 31