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Home » Energy saving

Save money and reduce carbon emissions with GreenTrac

Submitted by on Thursday, 6 May 2010 Loading Add to favourites  3 Comments

Greentrac homepage screenshotHands up who turns off their PC when not in use?

I have to admit even though I always turn off my computer at night; it’s often left idle during the day.

Greentrac‘ is a software package that is helping me change my behaviour, reduce my carbon footprint and save money. Suitable for large organisations or individuals, GreenTrac helps you cut down the power usage of your  computers.

While there are other packages out there doing a similar thing, Greentrac aims to get to the root of the issue by changing attitudes and behaviours in order to go green and save.

Motivation

By giving continuous real-time feedback and incentives, Greentrac works by motivating users to save power. Who doesn’t love a little competition in the office or at home?

In a survey commissioned by Norwich Union, three-quarters of the people questioned said that ethical one-upmanship is now one of the main themes of conversation at the school gates or while having meals with friends.  So how about doing something good with that motivation and comparing your Greentrac output with family, friends and colleagues!

Save money

The upside to doing your bit for the environment is that you can save money. Angus Russell says “Even if you’re already turning off PCs at night time, reducing energy waste during the business day by 80% on 10,000 PCs could save your organization an additional $200,000 per year and reduce the amount of CO2 released into the environment by a further 1,400,000 kg.” GreenTrac offers a positive return on your investment within 6 – 9 months.

Free trial

The Greentrac free 30 day trial is simple to install:

Register, click your confirmation email and download the software.  After downloading, you’ll see a system tray icon for you to double click on which opens up your browser.

Real time analysis

Greentrac provides an easy to use and intuitive way to manage and measure your carbon emissions while providing detailed analysis of your energy use and costs.

On the home tab, you’ll see your efficiency score. It starts at 100 and adjusts in response to your PC energy consumption. You’ll also find sustainability hints and tips to make you more aware of how you can reduce your CO2 footprint in other areas of your life.

Reducing energy use

You’ll  see a chart summarising your workstation energy usage over the past 7 days; colour coded for convenience. Red is idle, Yellow is Active and Green is off. It makes a great visual impact of your overall energy usage and acts as a reminder for you to switch off when not in use. The motivation soon kicks in and you’re determined to eliminate your ‘red time’ in favour of ‘green time’!

You’ll also see your daily carbon emission – it’s sobering to see that figure climbing, but raises awareness so you can figure out where to improve things.

Reduce carbon emissions

Clicking on the ‘View’ tab shows you more detailed analysis of your PC usage. You’ll see  graphs showing your own energy consumption and for organisation and networks, you’ll be able to see a profile of each individual PC on your system.

With Greentrac, each staff member is given an individual energy efficiency rating for the workstations they use, and can compare it to the whole organisation’s energy efficiency.

Empowering staff

Empowering staff to manage their individual environmental impact in the workplace has been shown to be effective, and to have long-lasting effects including improved morale and performance in the workplace.

Using Greentrac has certainly shown me where I can make positive changes. Within 3 days I was remembering to switch off my computer when not in use during the day. I estimate I’ve reduced my daily computer energy use by 25-33%.

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3 Comments »

  • Cameron Benz says:

    Interesting thought. I’ve since learned to shut my computer off when I’m not using it.

  • Mark Byers says:

    An interesting post that introduces a credible product. I think the aim is spot on. The challenge is getting the average person to embrace it. As a result of the post I’ve looked at what Greentrac offers and I’m convinced it will help, if deployed in enough places and actively used. Sadly I can’t see this happening because we all too easily fall back into bad habits.

    The answer is to quietly impose rules and this is where the active power management products come in. Some are better than others and one of the most effective and inexpensive solutions for PCs is PC Remote Shutdown (for networked PCs) and PC Shutdown Professional (for non-networked PCs).

    It would be great if everyone got the environmental message but the vast majority don’t. The technology exists to better manage our use of energy and the technology that will make the greatest impact will be active, meaning it applies rules that the individual must consciously override. If the technology relies on the individual to take action I guarantee the minority will and the majority won’t.

    I encourage everyone who uses a PC, at home or work, to check out PC Shutdown. It’s simple and it works. The company that distributes it in the UK & Ireland is Team Logic.

  • Mrs Green says:

    @Cameron Benz: glad you’re shutting down your computer, CAmeron.

    @Mark Byers: Hi Mark, I agree behavioural changes are the hardest ones to tackle. Making things fun is the key I think as demonstrated in a great experiment in Canada I think it was where they created musical stairs next to an escalator and watched as about 90% of people used the stairs instead of the escalator when they realised jumping around on it was a fun thing to do!

    Thanks for sharing the information about your company and let’s hope it helps to bring about positive change.