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Want to Save Money? It's Time to Power Down

want-to-save-money-time-to-power-down.jpgI'm always walking around the house turning off my kids' computers. My teen insists this is a waste of time. "It just doesn't use that much electricity!" he always tells me.

Well, maybe not at our house, but at a company with a lot of info-tech gadgets running, the cost can really add up. In many parts of the country, electricity rates are skyrocketing. In parts of Pennsylvania, for instance, rates went up 25 percent in the past year.

The good news: There are ways to fight back against high electricity costs.

Some companies are hiring electricity-management firms such as OnDemand Energy to come in and optimize their power usage. The company analyzes usage patterns, then looks at the suppliers in your area to recommend the best one for your situation.

There's another strategy too -- unplug all your devices every night to save. Encouraging unplugging is the goal of the Power IT Down campaign, now in its third year. The campaign signs up companies where managers pledge to turn off all their computers and peripherals for one, single night. 

Last year, Power IT Down saved roughly 73,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity in a single night -- enough to power 77 American homes for an entire month. Those kilowatts do add up.

This year, Power IT Down Day takes place on August 27. Sponsored by Citrix, Intel, HP and GTSI, the event is hoping to get more than 6,000 registrants.

I think at a lot of companies, it's just considered too much of a hassle to turn off devices. There's the question of whose responsibility will it be, how long it will take, and how long it takes to flip everything back on in the morning. But if you're a company interested in sustainability, powering off at night can be an easy way to lessen your carbon footprint.

How are you saving on electricity at your business? Leave a comment and let us know your tips.

Carol Tice, a freelance writer, is chief executive of TiceWrites Inc. in Bainbridge Island, Wash. She blogs about freelance writing at Make a Living Writing. Email her at carol@caroltice.com.

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