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Computer OS Power Saving Modes

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  rev. 2008-11-25        

Existing Conditions

Most computers at this site run in full power mode while they are left on an unattended.  For a typical computer, this is about xxx hours per workday. (Most machines are also left on overnight and on weekends)


Retrofit Conditions

following readings:

•  Desktop (CPU box only) – 60 watts

•  Laptop (including built-in screen) – 30 watts

•  CRT screen, 17' – 100 watts, 90 watts with screen saver (even a blank one), 3 watts in Energy Star 'turn off monitor' mode

•  LCD (thin) screen, 17' – 40 watts, 40 watts with screen saver, 3 watts in Energy Star 'turn off monitor' mode

We recommend implementing power-saving features one at a time on each machine, to ensure compatibility with hardware and software.  The features in the table above are listed in order of priority, so start with number 1.  When a feature causes problems, disable it and leave the other features enabled.

The recommended timeout settings are:

•  Set screen saver after 5 minutes of idle time (protects screen but doesn’t save energy)

•  Turn off monitor after 10 minutes.  This is the most important setting

•  Turn off hard disks after 30 minutes

•  System standby after 2 hours

It is important that users understand that screen savers, even the 'blank screen' selection, do not save energy, they simply prevent an image from becoming burned into the phosphor in CRT screens.

For installation with many computers on a local area network, we recommend downloading and installing 'EZ Save', a free centrally-administered software tool distributed by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for reporting and globally setting monitor power management features.


Further Benefits



Application Details


Issues and Concerns







Based on quantities of equipment, usage schedules, and user awareness / habits.


Allocate some time for workshop training and EZ Save installation and setup.

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