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Gartner says PC Power Management Activation Can Save a 2,500-PC Organization More Than $40,000 a Year


Total Power Consumption per Year for a Well-Managed, 2,500-PC Organization is 43 Percent Lower than for an Unmanaged One

STAMFORD, Conn., Organizations that are actively employing power management functionality can expect to save $43,300 per year, compared with an unmanaged 2,500-PC organization, according to Gartner, Inc. In addition, turning off and unplugging machines saves another $6,500, but this may affect employee productivity because updates will need to be carried out during working hours.

“Much attention on power consumption has focused on the data center, but PC power consumption in an organization can also be significant, especially given steadily rising electricity prices,” said Federica Troni, principal analyst at Gartner. “IT organizations should recognize that the greatest savings come from employing power management features. They should investigate the power management capabilities of their PC life cycle management tools and PC power management point solutions to implement these policies and to better support management activities.”

Gartner has created a model to assess the impact of different variables on an organization’s total PC power use that calculates the power consumption for desktops, notebooks and associated monitors during the workday and after hours. The model is based on three different scenarios — the well-managed, unmanaged and unplugged organization — and includes a number of common assumptions, including: there are 2,500 employees in the organization, the ratio of PCs to employees is 1-to-1, employees work an eight-hour business day 230 days per year and active use of the PC during working hours is 70 percent of the time. The power calculation assumes a cost of $0.1 for one kilowatt-hour (kWh).

“Although we concentrated on three specific scenarios, the model can be used to assess the PC-related power consumption in any organization,” said Charles Smulders, managing vice president at Gartner. “In addition, the results of the assessment can be adjusted to reflect only the power used and paid for by the organization, thus excluding the power consumed by a mobile PC that is being used off the organization’s premises.”

In the well-managed scenario, it is assumed that power management features are activated on all devices, and desktops are not switched off or unplugged after hours, thereby enabling remote updates to be performed. Notebook devices are switched off or placed in suspend mode 50 percent of the time after hours and of these, 50 percent are unplugged after hours.

In the unmanaged scenario, no attempt is made to manage or control the power management features, and users are left to decide whether to activate or deactivate the power management features. In this scenario it is assumed that both desktop and notebook users activate power management features in 50 percent of the cases, 50 percent of desktops are switched off after hours and notebook devices are switched off or placed in suspend mode 50 percent of the time after hours, and of these, 50 percent are unplugged after hours.

In the unplugged scenario, all PC devices are unplugged when not in use after hours.

The annual cost savings associated with a well-managed environment versus an unmanaged one is $43,300. This assumes that all power is paid for by the organization. Excluding the power consumed when mobile PCs are used off the organization’s premises, the annual cost saving is calculated to be $27,500.

“Undoubtedly with proper policies in place, substantial power and cost savings can be achieved without an impact on user productivity,” said Ms. Troni said. “Unplugging machines brings further reductions in power and additional cost savings, compared with a well-managed environment; however, we believe that implementing such policies is impractical, and is likely to obstruct productivity because updates can’t easily be performed after hours.”

Additional information is available in the Gartner report “PC Power Management Activation Leads to Significant Power and Cost Savings.” The report is available on Gartner’s Web site at

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company. Gartner delivers the technology-related insight necessary for its clients to make the right decisions, every day. From CIOs and senior IT leaders in corporations and government agencies, to business leaders in high-tech and telecom enterprises and professional services firms, to technology investors, Gartner is the indispensable partner to 60,000 clients in 10,000 distinct organizations. Through the resources of Gartner Research, Gartner Consulting and Gartner Events, Gartner works with every client to research, analyze and interpret the business of IT within the context of their individual role. Founded in 1979, Gartner is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, U.S.A., and has 4,000 associates, including 1,200 research analysts and consultants in 80 countries. For more information, visit


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