Chapman U. reaps green savings by cutting computing energy

Colleges and universities can be energy-intensive places, with one reason being the many hundreds or thousands of computers plugged in at each campus.

California’s Chapman University, for instance, has 6,300 students and more than 2,500 campus-owned computers, including 850 in public-access labs. When green-minded students suggested to the university’s CIO that better power management could help the school cut its computing energy’s footprint, the IT department began exploring its options.

“Having been to countless higher education conferences that discuss conserving energy through the use of power management software, I also became curious about the process and its cost effectiveness for our department,” said Michelle Sypinero, manager of Chapman’s Student Computing Services.

University officials last December decided to test a system from Verismic, a UK-based power management software company with US offices in California. Several months later, they went ahead and bought and implemented 2,475 licenses for the company’s software. The software enables the school’s IT staff to identify and shut down computers that aren’t in use.

Since then, the university has seen its computing power-related costs drop by 62 percent … a total of $117,438.75 on an annual basis. The school now plans to expand its use of the software to Mac workstations in public areas, as well as to staff and faculty computers.

The software has paid off “both in a fiscal and environmental sense,”¬†Sypinero said.

“Today’s students feel a huge responsibility to preserve the environment, and as a university it is important to take the necessary steps to lead by example, and teach ways in which this is possible,” she added.

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