Crimbo click – how low can we go?

You’ve probably heard the energy-saving message to turn off any equipment that isn’t going to be used over the Christmas and New Year vacation, including desktop machines and monitors.

Using the University’s energy monitoring system, we’ll be able to see how much energy we save. Last year the Informatics Forum used about 20% less energy in a week during the vacation than in a “typical” week. After the vacation, I’ll do a similar analysis to get this year’s savings.

This year, we’ll be able to see even more clearly how much energy we’re saving. Almost all the power sockets in offices are supplied via a UPS system, which allows us to monitor how much energy is used by office appliances such as computers, monitors and heaters (but not lighting). A typical week looks like this:

If we cut all of this, that would be a total of roughly 15,800kWh over the 11 days of the vacation or £1423 or approximately 7.9 tonnes of CO2. Of course, we’re not going to manage that – some people will be coming and others have simulations to run – but how low can we go?

P.S. If you’ve gone already and think you don’t need your machine on, you
can ssh in and shut down like this:
ssh ssh.inf.ed.ac.uk
ssh {your computer's name}
# Check no-one else is logged in
users
halt

You may need to check that no cron jobs are running – my machine at least appears to wake (even after a halt) when a cron job is imminent.

P.P.S. You may be wondering if we could use the UPS data to produce a breakdown of Informatics Forum energy use. We can; I’ll blog about that in the New Year when I’ve not got multiple deadlines!

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  1. Pingback: Festive switch-off | Informatics Energy Blog

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