There was a study done that looked at the impact of deploying a single piece of technology to improve the efficient use of electric power in the office environment. Looking at an individual workstation at state government business offices in Maine, it was determined that 1.80 kilowatt-hours daily on work days and 2.88 KWH on non-workdays could be conserved through the deployment of technology developed by Bits Limited. This relatively simple technology is employed in power strips that are used at the workstations.
How the Technology Works
Bits Limited’s power strips sense power usage to the laptop or desk top computer. When the user is actively engaged in work activities on the computer the power strip works as any other power strip providing current to peripherals like the monitor, printer, scanner, etc. When the computer enters sleep mode as set by the user, the power demand drops and this is sensed by the technology in the power strip. The power strip then turns off power to the peripherals conserving electric power.
The case study showed for the 12,000 state workers in the State of Maine, government would save nearly $1.1 million in the first year with an investment in power strips of $516 thousand. This saving is based on $.115 per KWH. Of course the saving would continue year after year and would increase with the cost of electric power.
Call to Action
Anyone who has read about the events and actions taken to bring Apollo 13 home or who has seen the movie can attest to the creative genius and the efforts the NASA team under took to conserve power to assure the astronauts would make the return trip. How many electrical engineers does the power industry employ? How many opportunities exist for saving power in residential, commercial or industrial areas? Why are there not more solutions like this within reach of homeowners, landlords and business managers to improve energy efficiency in this country?