Computer Energy Settings

Information Technology Recommendations: Shut off the power to your monitor when not in use, and use S3 power-saving options in your computer’s BIOS, Control Panel or System Preferences.

PC Power saving options

Standby: Places your system into low power mode while idle. This is a good solution when you need to quickly return to system use.

Hibernate: Places an image of your working desktop on to your hard drive and completely shuts the system down. Good solution for laptops running low on battery power. Takes longer to “wake up” than a computer in sleep mode.

Where to set power saving options

  • Windows Vista: Go to Control Panel > System and Maintenance > Power Options. Set your computer for Power Saver and then select Change Plan Settings. We would recommend using the Balanced Power Plan. Try this out to see if it suits your needs. If it does not, adjust the settings using the Change plan settings. Also in the Control Panel select Personalize and then select screen saver and select (None). Screen savers do not save energy.
  • Windows XP: Go to Start, click Control Panel > Performance and Maintenance > Power Options. Choose normal power schemes and select the amount of time you would like to have for your monitor to shut down and place system into standby. Ten to fifteen minutes is recommended for both of these settings. Screen savers do not save energy: to turn yours off, right click on your desktop, select Properties and set screen saver to (None).
  • PC BIOS (all versions of Windows): By pressing a selected Function key at system power up (F11 on some systems) you can review the system power settings in your BIOS. You should confirm that power management is enabled and that the S3 sleep state features are enabled. If you have a laptop, make sure that the sleep state is enabled when you close the laptop cover.
  • Macintosh OS: Go to System Preferences > Energy Saver select sleep and slide the indicator to set the system and display. 10 minutes would be the normal setting for systems. You may also want to place the hard disk to sleep when possible or set your system to schedule startup and shut down times. This last option can be set using the Schedule button. You can set this to the time you will normally want the system to be on.

General recommendations:

  • Set your screen saver to blank (none).
  • Shut your monitor and peripherals off when not in use.
  • Close the cover of your laptop when not in use.
  • Use shared printing resources when possible.
  • Use duplex printing when possible.
  • Set your monitor to sleep after about 10 minutes.
  • Make other settings as you wish, or go with suggested energy-saving pre-sets.
  • Experiment and adjust as makes sense for your work style.

Other recommendations:

  • When purchasing a new computer system please make sure the computer is Energy Star 4 or 5 compliant. EPEAT Gold is also recommended for new systems and Monitors.
  • If possible buy a laptop instead of a desktop system to save power over the life of the system.
  • Recycle your old system for reuse, but make sure to erase all of the data using a disk wiping tool or remove the hard disk from the system.