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A measured way to achieving cost and energy savings
In light of public sector budget cuts, those who believe ‘if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it’, are probably wondering what steps public sector organisations will implement to measure their effectiveness of strategies implemented to help them make the savings demanded by their diminishing budget.
Forward thinking public sector organisations that have faced up to the inevitable changes forced by the budget restrictions, are well aware of the role that technology can play in helping them to make tangible cost savings by reducing their energy consumption.
Shrinking the public sector’s carbon footprint
In the case of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, it investigated new ways of saving energy in order to lower their carbon footprint so as to meet the Government’s target of the NHS achieving a 10% reduction in carbon emissions by 2015 The Trust required a PC power management solution that would power down PCs when not in use to achieve real carbon dioxide savings. With the goal of reducing power consumption while increasing energy efficiency, the power management solution had to be flexible and easy to deploy on the Trust’s 1,943 desktop PCs and laptops across the Fylde Coast domain.
The Trust established that only a power management solution would enable it to manage power consumption for user groups in A&E, and across the business function with no negative impact on productivity. Critically, the solution had to meet the needs of the business and organisational policies, comfortably accommodating different work patterns and behaviour with no detrimental impact on productivity.
To realise its objectives, the team deployed PowerStudio, the PC power management solution from Certero, which has been developed to make it easy to power down idle PCs. Following a trial to assess the savings that could be realised with PowerStudio, the Trust subsequently implemented power management policies designed to help them save energy, and – importantly – money.
Arresting ways to save money
The Trust was quick to realise considerable savings. For the four months from October 2010 to January 2011, its cost savings equated to £9,243.59. Extrapolated to a full year, this gives a projected saving in the first year of use of £27,730.77. While the cost savings are impressive, so too are the energy savings. PowerStudio helped Blackpool Teaching Hospitals halve its monthly energy bills and it estimates that it has prevented 211 tons of CO2 annually from entering the atmosphere. This has been achieved by reducing the number of PCs being left on overnight from 23% to 2.7%. Shaun Bucknill, ICT Manager, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, has no doubts about the role PowerStudio has played in driving energy efficiency at the Trust. “We required a solution with a low cost set up that was easy to manage once installed, and PowerStudio ticked all the boxes. The free 30 day trial highlighted the software as easy to implement and manage power consumption whilst providing a return on investment within months. The solution outweighed other products in terms of competitive pricing and strong reporting features, resulting in a quick and easy decision. PowerStudio is a great product, it works well and is generating substantial savings by powering down PCs.”
The Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is not alone in realising tangible cost and energy savings by using PowerStudio to power down idle PCs. Deploying PowerStudio allowed Surrey Police Authority to set policies that automatically switch off monitors and place PCs into standby or hibernation. Surrey Police Authority deployed PowerStudio to 2,960 desktops, and it was able to half the computer idle time across its entire PC estate, resulting in savings of over £44,000 and provide a return on investment in six months.
Accurate reports, impressive results
PowerStudio achieves measurable cost and energy savings because it has been designed from the ground up as a backward compatible web-based management application to enable organisations to easily apply power policies and profiles across all their desktops. These include setting alerts to place all office PCs into hibernation, standby and shutdown as well as automatic start-up for maintenance during out of office hours. Critically, PowerStudio saves documents before running the automatic policies to prevent the frustrating loss of work many organisations fall victim to. It also has the ability to wake up remote PCs via web browser, mobile device and email. The most recent version, PowerStudio 3.0, also features a flexible new reporting module, which can be configured according to the information needs of each report recipient. For instance, a Trust’s IT Director requires information about reductions achieved in energy consumption, while the Trust’s Financial Director might require information about the difference in costs savings achieved on the day tariff or night time tariff.
The reports are also useful for evaluating the success of initiatives taken to reduce energy consumption, and to establish what – and where – measures need to be taken to reduce energy consumption or costs further. PowerStudio simplifies this task dramatically with location-based tariff costs. To hone the precision of energy costs and usage rate information even further, PowerStudio also features an information bank pre-populated with data about the energy consumption rates of the most popular business PCs. This enables organisations to refine the parameters of their energy consumption queries, according to the type and make of PCs used within those locations and in conjunction with local tariffs.
Savings: Measured, managed, reported, recognised
Public sector organisations accept that they will have to show where they have made cost savings, and the value of the initiatives they have implemented to lower costs and energy consumption. PowerStudio has already proven its ability to help reduce carbon emissions and energy costs, while making it easier to quantify and measure the cost and energy savings that have been accomplished.