With the growing electricity crisis in South Africa, it is incumbent upon all of us to reduce electricity consumption. Eskom and government have made it clear that rationing, higher prices and blackouts will be the order of the day for the next three years.

South Africa not only faces an energy crisis, our reliance on electricity from coal places us amongst the largest producers of carbon emissions on the globe – in the top 20, in fact. As a result, energy saving can not only assist us in overcoming this crisis, but also have a dramatic impact on combating global warming.
Green IT entrepreneurs, sustainableIT has partnered with leading multinational applications vendor, 1E, to deliver a best of breed solution which can have a dramatic effect on corporate electricity usage, assisting business in meeting the 10% reduction targets that have been laid down by Eskom. According to Gartner, desktop PCs and monitors account for up to 39% of IT energy costs, the largest chunk of the pie in IT energy consumption and clearly low hanging fruit in energy saving initiatives.
NightWatchman, a solution delivered through existing systems management infrastructure, powers off networked PCs at pre-determined times as well as manages, configures and reports on advanced power management settings on the network. The application backs up any open documents on the user’s desktop so no valuable information is lost during the power down process. These are available to the user on reboot through a simple pop up interface on the task bar.
Unlike other solutions, there is no need to invest in additional hardware to get the benefits of "going green" immediately; in fact you leverage all of your existing infrastructure investment. Many energy efficiency technologies today require a rip and replace mentality that flies in the face of "reduce, re-use, recycle", one of the fundamental strategies in green initiatives.
"IT has been largely ignored up until now as a means of reducing electricity in the Eskom energy crisis," says sales and marketing director of sustainableIT, Teresa Legg. She adds that the IT industry accounts for as much as 2% of the CO2 emissions globally, which is as much as the airline industry.
Running through the numbers, Legg goes on to say that the average PC consumes as much as 1200kwh of electricity per annum. By implementing NightWatchman, this figure can be reduced by as much as 70%, equating to savings in excess of 500kg of CO2 and if it's extrapolated to a large PC network – say 10 000 – the reduction in carbon emissions is about 5 000 tons per year.
While the application powers off equipment that is usually kept on at night, its sister product, 1EWakeUp allows administrators to wake machines up to achieve almost 100% patch management success.
sustainableIT has a calculator on its website, www.sustainableIT.co.za, which allows users to calculate the electricity, carbon and costs they can save by implementing this technology.