With Gershon efficiency savings being imposed on Local Government, and cascaded down to schools, I picked up an interesting Cabinet Office news item
from a colleague. A bold plan has been announced to reduce carbon
emission caused by ICT in central government. The principles are just
as applicable to Local Authorities and Schools; indeed there is
currently a DCSF zero carbon consultation (call for evidence) aimed at schools being zero carbon by 2016, and all schools must have a prominent Display Energy Certificate
by October this year. It's key to note that saving energy is no longer
about reducing CO2 its about reducing real costs in order to ensure
that teaching and learning isn't affected by the increase in energy
costs against a background of three year budgets that were set before
these massive energy price increases. As the Cabinet Office makes
clear, ICT is now a BIG and often inefficient energy user.
The press release indicates that the Plan [PDF 933KB, 28 pages] includes 18 key steps, which include:
Automatically switching off desktop computers outside working
As an example of best practice, I was interested to see that King Ethelbert School's
Network Manager has an interesting set up that powers down machines at
a specific time. In their case it was to address the issue of extended
hours use by outside partners who weren't as diligent in switching off.
Reusing as much computer equipment as possible. Most of the
energy used in the lifetime of a PC is consumed during manufacture. Extending
its use or re-using it elsewhere will save both energy and money.
agreeing with the sentiment, and there are of course charities that act
as recycling agents, few will take machines from schools, as they are
usually way past their usable life! Thin client offers some
possibilities, but in general these older machines are so inefficient
they aren't worth keeping as they use more energy than is saved by
Auditing our data centres and server use to make sure they are
running at maximum efficiency.
is becoming a hot topic.Virtualisation opens enormous possibilities, as
does the use of more efficient operating systems on servers.
would like to hear from you of you have best practice suggestions for
high impact changes that reduce the costs of energy consumption.