Efficient Computer Use

If you have a home computer, your family may spend quite a few hours a day doing homework, checking e-mail, or surfing the Web. Though computer equipment uses less electrical energy than many other home appliances, there are a few things you can do to reduce your electrical consumption as much as possible.

Most types of computers use similar amounts of electricity. But monitors vary in their consumption depending on their size, with small screens using less. Compare the consumption figures of competing equipment when you next buy computer equipment. And be sure to look for the Energy Star® logo as you shop-this is your assurance that your computer will use the minimum power necessary.

Follow these tips to reduce the energy consumption and operating cost of your computer equipment:

Activate your computer’s sleep setting. This shuts down your computer and monitor after any period of inactivity. This is the most important single step you can take to reduce consumption, since most equipment uses almost no power during sleep.
If your printer doesn’t automatically sleep between jobs, shut it off manually when you’re not using it.

Don’t print any more than documents than you need to, since printers use electricity, paper, and ink or toner. Computers can save a lot of time and energy, as long as you don’t fall back into the old habit of needing everything on paper. Try reading and saving things on-screen. If you need to send documents to someone, send an e-mail. It’s quicker, it saves energy, and doesn’t require postage.
For more information on energy-saving computer equipment visit the Department of Energy EnergyStar® web site at www.energystar.gov.

See the Home Electronics page of the Energy Star® web site for more information.