Turning Off IT In a Big Way

August 31, 2010
By Henry Kenyon

The sponsors of Power IT Down Day have released the results of this year's event, reporting more than 17,000 registered participants and approximately 900,000 kilowatt hours of power saved. The annual effort encourages IT users to shut down all their devices before leaving work for the day. By using a low-end price estimate of 15 cents per kilowatt hour, all those turned off computers, printers, phone chargers and more resulted in a cost savings of approximately $130,000.

Power IT Down Day has been held for three consecutive years on August 27, and the latest occurrence included almost three times as many participants as last year when slightly more than 5,600 people registered. This year's event saved more energy and money than ever not just because of the number of participants, but also because it fell on a Friday. This meant that power draw reduced not only over night, but also over an entire weekend.

Though event organizers only aimed for a 20 to 30 percent increase from 2009, Tom Simmons, area vice president, U.S. Public Sector, Citrix Systems, said he was pleased but not particularly surprised by the huge jump in registrants. Citrix, along with its other sponsor partners-HP, Intel and GTSI-promoted the event heavily, especially wanting to encourage .gov and .mil domain users to participate. Their hopes were answered. Approximately two-thirds of participants were members of government, while the remaining third represented the private sector. Many of the private-sector participants work for the sponsor companies. 

Going forward, the sponsors hope people will grow Power IT Down Day into a habit and turn off their electrical devices every day of the year at work and at home as well as encourage others to do the same. The companies also are ensuring that the event's benefits reach beyond lower power bills. They plan to donate $60,000 to the Wounded Warrior Project as a symbolic gesture to illustrate how energy cost savings can be put to good use. Last year, $45,000 was donated to the project.

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