Use computer power-saving modes

Why? Running your computer and monitor constantly throughout the year wastes a significant amount of electricity. However, a computer idling in "sleep" mode uses less than half the energy of an active computer.
Set your computer and monitor to go into "sleep," "hibernate," or an equivalent mode after 20 minutes of inactivity. These modes draw less power while keeping programs open for when you return to work.

How it works:

  • If you run Windows®, change your power settings by visiting the Control Panel folder. If you have a Mac®, go to System Preferences. Consult your owner's manual for more specific instructions.
  • Energy-saving settings on a plugged-in laptop are different from when it's running on battery power. Be sure to optimize both.
  • To "wake" the computer, touch the mouse or the appropriate key on the keyboard.

Can I use a screensaver instead? Screensavers do not save power. A computer running a screensaver uses just as much energy as an active computer, so it's better to put the computer to sleep.

Good to know: You will save the most energy by turning the computer off entirely when it's not being used.

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