Ford to save millions of dollars, drastically reduce carbon emissions just by turning off its computers at night

When a corporation as large as Ford decides to do something as simple as shutting down its computers at night, the savings can be astronomical. In the case of Ford, powering down computers can save the company $1.2 million each year.

The new program called PC Power Management, utilizes energy saving settings provided by Microsoft Windows. The energy settings will be used on company laptops and desktops to reduce energy waste. A managed shutdown will occur each night and during the weekend period. Additionally, computers will be awake to receive updates during pre-selected non-business hours, freeing up time previously used for updates throughout the working day.

According to Ford, an estimated 60 percent of the company's computers remained on after business hours resulting in wasted energy. The new managed shutdown will eliminate waste to the tune of over a million dollars in savings for the company and reduce its carbon footprint by an estimated 16,000-25,000 metric tons per year. Continue after the jump to read the company's full release.

[Source: Ford]
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New PC Power Management Program Reduces Energy Use at Ford
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Simple step of "powering down" laptops and desktop PCs is useful to corporations and individuals. Ford estimates it will save $1.2 million and reduce its carbon footprint by 16,000-25,000 metric tons annually. Ford and ENERGY STAR offer tips for consumers to reduce their own household energy use

DEARBORN, Mich., March 22, 2010 – At Ford Motor Company, the commitment to energy efficiency and saving money now starts at the office computer.

Under a new program called PC Power Management, the power settings on Windows laptops and desktop computers are centrally controlled to reduce energy waste and optimize software updates. A managed shutdown of computer systems not in use, especially overnight and on weekends, further reduces energy use.

At the same time, the system ensures all computers connected to the Ford Intranet are awake and able to receive software deliveries during off hours, decreasing downtime during working hours due to software loads.

The savings to the company on power cost alone is expected to top $1.2 million annually when the system is fully implemented. By reducing PC power consumption, Ford also stands to reduce its carbon footprint by an estimated 16,000 to 25,000 metric tons annually.

"In the past, as many as 60 percent of Ford's PC users haven't shut their PCs off at the end of the business day, resulting in wasted energy," said Keith Forte, Ford IT project supervisor. "Going forward, we'll be able to manage PC power consumption more efficiently while minimizing interruptions during the working day as a result of software updates."

PC Power Management is being rolled out to Ford computer users across the U.S. this month. It will be migrated to Ford operations around the world later in the year.

The cost savings and reduced carbon footprint are obtained by developing "Power Profiles" for each PC in the company. With its power profile enabled, each PC monitors its usage patterns and determines when it can be turned off. If the user is working late, he or she will be alerted of the approaching power down and given the opportunity to delay it. In addition, the PC is able to detect when a Microsoft Office product is active and is able to save open documents before shutting down in case the user is not present.

Ford developed its PC Power Management system with NightWatchman™ software from 1E Inc. 1E research found that almost half of all employees who use computers at work typically do not power them down at the end of the working day. In the U.S. alone, over $2.8 billion of PC power is being wasted every year, according to 1E.

Ford's actions to reduce the amount of energy used in all of its facilities, from manufacturing to office buildings have earned it the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's coveted 2010 ENERGY STAR Award for the fifth consecutive year. In 2008, Ford improved energy efficiency in the U.S. by 5 percent resulting in savings of approximately $16 million. Since 2000, Ford's U.S. facilities have improved energy efficiency by nearly 35 percent. That's equivalent to the annual energy consumed by more than 150,000 homes.

As part of the company's commitment to ENERGY STAR, Ford urges its employees and customers to join the effort by reducing their personal energy use and cutting their CO2 footprints. Home energy use accounts for about 25 percent of the average American's carbon footprint. Individuals can help reduce that by pledging their support of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's "Change the World, Start with ENERGY STAR" campaign.

The ENERGY STAR Pledge includes small, individual energy-saving actions that collectively can make a difference. Among those recommendations from the EPA:
  • Change incandescent light bulbs to ENERGY STAR rated compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) or LEDs
  • CFLs are 50-80 percent more efficient that incandescent bulbs.
  • ENERGY STAR qualified residential LED lighting uses at least 75 percent less energy, lasts 25 times longer than incandescent lighting and provides optimal light color.
  • Use a programmable thermostat to save energy while asleep or away from home.
  • The average household spends $2,200 a year on energy.
  • Properly set programmable thermostats can save $180 a year.

  • Enable power management settings on computers and monitors so they go into "sleep mode" when away or not in use.
  • To maximize power savings, EPA recommends setting computers to enter system standby or hibernate after 30 to 60 minutes of inactivity.
  • To save even more, set monitors to enter sleep mode after 5 to 20 minutes of inactivity. The lower the setting, the more energy you save.

  • Make purchases of ENERGY STAR-qualified products, such as home electronics, office products and/or appliances.
  • A refrigerator from the 1970s uses four times more energy than an ENERGY STAR rated model.
  • In the average home, 75 percent of all electricity used to power consumer electronics is consumed after the products are turned off. ENERGY STAR labeled consumer electronics save energy and money without sacrificing performance, features, or reliability.

  • Make sure homes are well sealed and insulated.
  • Sealing and insulating the "envelope" or "shell" of a home - its outer walls, ceiling, windows, doors, and floors - is often the most cost effective way to improve energy efficiency and comfort
  • Proper home sealing and insulating can save up to 20 percent on heating and cooling costs.

By working together, Ford believes both individuals and corporations can make a difference in reducing energy use.


About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 198,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Volvo. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit

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