Anyone who wonders just how much energy is saved by putting a PC in sleep mode versus shutting it off should check out Verdiem’s new Edison application, a free program for Windows XP and Vista that tells you exactly how much energy is being used on your PC at any given time. Edison comes with the ability to set different functions for non-working and working PC usage hours. For example, during non-working hours, Edison can be set to put a PC in power save mode for 15 minutes before suspending the computer entirely.
The most gratifying part of Edison is its ability to estimate energy, CO2, and cash savings from using different sets of preferences. If you set the app to turn off your PC display after 15 minutes, power down the hard drive 15 minutes after that, and suspend the computer 15 minutes later, Edison predicts monetary savings of $112.78, energy savings of 390.33 kWh, and carbon savings of 668.32 pounds.
If this sounds too complicated, there are other free, easy-to-use energy saving apps available. The Vista Battery Saver disables certain Vista features when power reserves go below a certain point and Auto Shutdown schedules computer shutdowns. Still, there’s nothing like being able to see potential cash savings from cutting energy use.