Reducing Your IT Energy Consumption

Workstation Power Management

A Stanford study found that deploying power management at your  workstation can reduce your energy consumption up to 74% without impacting productivity. Here are two easy steps you can implement to ensure that your work station is set up as energy efficiently as possible.

1.      Ensure your computer has the following sleep settings:

·         Turn off monitor after 15 minutes of inactivity

·         Enable sleep mode after 30 minutes of inactivity

·         In desktops, stop hard disks after 5 minutes of inactivity


This step-by-step guide provides instructions for adjusting the sleep settings on your Mac or PC.


2.      If you have two monitors, a personal printer, headset, or other peripheral devices at your workstation, plug these devices into a smart power strip, which will automatically cut power to this equipment when you shut down your computer. The Department of Sustainability and Energy Management provides free smart power strips to individuals and departments

Cardinal Print

Cardinal Print is Stanford's simple, secure, environmentally-friendly, and cost-effective printing solution. Cardinal Print supports university sustainability goals, including becoming 80% carbon free by 2025 and achieving zero waste by 2030. The program reduces Stanford’s use of toner, paper, and energy, and all devices are ENERGY STAR®- and EPEAT®-certified. If your department or group wants to learn more about Cardinal Print, please request a Cardinal Print assessment.

Shared Printers

Your local IT group will also be able to provide information about activating power management settings on large copiers and printers, which often operate on internal schedules that are generally set by IT departments. Bring this to your IT group’s attention especially if you notice your office’s copier is not in a sleep mode when you leave your building at night. For more information on printer efficiency, see “How to Improve Printer Efficiency.”


Depending on its size, a server can easily consume as much electricity as an average California household. It also requires energy for cooling—depending on the efficiency of the space, a server can require just as much energy to cool it as to power it. Fortunately, there are many opportunities for decreasing the energy consumption of your server through virtualization, relocation, or an equipment upgrade. The Sustainable IT program provides resources to encourage server energy efficiency projects, including rebates to help cover the cost of the project. 

For small projects (less than 20 servers), we offer a streamlined rebate application to calculate your incentive. For larger projects, we'll work with you to calculate a custom rebate. We encourage you to reach out as soon as possible when you are embarking on a server project to ensure that you can take full advantage of our resources. Contact Annalise Di Santo to get started


Server virtualization allows multiple isolated virtual environments to operate on a single machine, reducing the number of servers required. In addition, a virtualized environment provides better hardware utilization, flexibility and recoverability in the case of failures, as well as reduced operating costs. VMware is available for both administrative and academic computing to facilitate server virtualization. Contact Annalise Di Santo to get started


Relocating servers out of academic buildings and into Stanford’s data centers reduces the energy required for cooling because the data centers are designed and maintained specifically for servers. Learn more about energy efficiency of Stanford’s data centers. Relocating servers also frees up precious building space for academic use and decreases risk of disruption and loss of research. Learn how the Clark Center relocated 350 servers and received an $87,000 rebate. Contact Annalise Di Santo to get started


If purchasing a new computer, check out Stanford University IT’s laptop and desktop recommendations. All recommended computers are EPEAT and Energy Star rated.

Work Anywhere

IT Services provides a Work Anywhere Toolkit that allows staff to work remotely and save the greenhouse gas generated from commute trips.