Potential savings from PC power management can be enticing. Results vary depending on factors such as what desktop equipment users have (laptops vs. workstations with monitors), how much time users spend on their machines, and the cost of energy in your region. But savings can range from $25 to $75 and up per year per machine, and around 200 kWh to 400 kWh per computer per year.
[ Learn more about the ROI of PC power management. ]
Given the easily measurable and quickly achievable ROI of PPM, one might wonder why more companies aren't adopting it and why utilities need to dangle incentives. According to a recent report on PC power management incentives [PDF] by J. Walker Beacon of Beacon Consultants Network, the reasons are twofold: For some cash-strapped organizations, the upfront costs, no matter how modest, are simply too steep. "In other organizations," according to Beacon, "the answer has to do with who bears the costs of a computer power management project (e.g., the IT department) versus who reaps the benefits (e.g., the facility department)."
Hence the need for incentives, which range dramatically from region to region and utility to utility. On the low end of the spectrum, BC Hydro offers customers an incentive of $6 per computer; Seattle City Light [PDF] offers $8 per system. Utilities such as Idaho Power [PDF] and Bonneville Power Administration offer $10 per machine, while at the high end of the spectrum, San Diego Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison, and Pacific Gas and Electric offer $15 per computer. Austin Energy and New England's Northeast Utilities will provide companies with up to 50 percent of the total installed costs -- and Manitoba Hydro is willing to pony up as much as 100 percent of the total installed cost.