IT Power Management: LSU Overview

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General Information

LSU is pleased to announce an exciting new undertaking that will significantly lower our energy usage. Recently, we completed a highly successful test of innovative software that drastically reduces the amount of energy used by our computers. The software manages the individual PC power settings based on criteria we set specifically for our campus. Automatically, the software manages this defined power plan.

Our test of the software resulted in savings of $20 per computer. Expanding the program to the 6,000 machines that are on the LSU domain will result in reduced energy usage and increased energy savings. We expect a three year savings of up to $350,000, reducing carbon emissions equivalent to taking more than 1,620 cars off the road.

Background Information

We want to do our part to reduce carbon emissions while significantly reducing operating expenses. Energy cost and demand is rising across the United States. U.S. companies waste nearly $4 billion annually powering unused computers. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that automating PC power management can cut PC-related energy costs by 60 percent or more. Research shows that controlling PC power can reduce total energy consumption in an organization up to 15 percent and extend the life of their PCs. Our goal is to save 403 kilowatt hours per year per computer.

Surprisingly, an average PC left on all day and all night consumes more electricity than the average refrigerator. How many of us would leave an unused refrigerator running all day? Yet, it is easy to forget to power down your computer when you leave for the day or are away from your desk for an extended period.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does it work?
The software we will be using, PwrSmart™ by New Boundary Technologies, automatically puts a PC into a low power state when it is not being used. This Energy Star® compliant software incorporates self-monitoring and self-controlling features to maximize energy savings with minimal impact to you during the workday.

How does it affect me?
The most significant change you will notice is that you may have to move the mouse or hit your power button after being away from your computer for an extended period of time. In some instances, you may have to turn on the power to your computer when starting your workday. It’s that simple.

Will I notice any other changes?
No. All of the action takes place behind the scenes. If necessary, we will monitor our energy savings and make appropriate changes.

Is the computer going to sleep?
If you apply the “power down” mode, then yes the machine sleeps, which means the computer’s state is stored on the hard drive and no power is required to hold on to the information; so, it requires “ctrl-alt-delete” to restore. This is the most aggressive setting and has proven savings of up to $24/PC/year.

If you apply the “low power” mode, then no, the computer’s state is stored in RAM, which still requires power to hold on to information; so, it only take the shake of the mouse to restore. This is the least aggressive setting capable of saving $5/PC/year.

How will the IT Power Management Initiative affect service for students?
The only machines that will be affected are those on the LSU domain, including student lab machines. Campus-wide, we are anticipating to manage the power settings on 6,000 machines in the first phase of this energy-saving project. Student laptops that are brought to campus and use the wireless network will not be affected.

When will the policy begin?
LSU purchased the power-saving software July 1, 2010. The first phase and testing began in the student labs July 2010. Since then multiple pilot studies have been performed resulting in a savings of $20.46 average savings per PC per year above the baseline savings. Technical professionals in each department have been opting in since October 2010 and now 20% of the campus has deployed this software. The sooner the clients are out and schemes enforced, the higher the resulting annual savings.

How can I get more information?
Please check out the LSU Sustainability Web Site ( under IT Power Management OR Sustainability: Applying LSU Power Management Schema

For direct questions and consultation, email

Why is LSU doing this?
This project has been identified as a savings initiative by the Efficiency and Effectiveness task force. IT Power Management will contribute to reducing LSU’s energy cost, which directly impacts the formula that determines the Student Energy Fee. Any additional savings will be absorbed back into the general budget to help with the current financial circumstances of the University.

Is there a scenario in which I can request that my machine be removed from power savings management?
The Opt/Out committee, a new committee to be formed by representatives from Facility Services, Finance & Administration, Faculty Senate and Staff Senate will review requests to be opted out of the IT Power Management program on a case-by-case basis.

For direct questions and consultation, email

Thank You! in advance for your participation in this exciting project and for helping us make an impact.

1/30/2024 3:30:52 PM