Google Helps You Reduce Energy Costs and CO2

Many are familiar with Google's "don't be evil" philosophy of serving the best interests of it users and maintaining a moral-guided internal code of conduct. But not as many might be aware that Google often tries to go beyond just not doing evil, by activey trying to do good deeds. This is evident with Google's philanthropic endeavors and its recent Project10100 worldwide call to arms for the betterment of humanity in areas such as energy, the environment, and health. Google's latest effort to make a difference is not quite as big as the aforementioned projects, but as they say, every little bit counts.

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And it is exactly the little things that Google's energy savings calculator tool focuses on, such as saving $6 per year by swapping an incandescent bulb for an energy-efficient compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulb. Six dollars might not sound like a lot, but the energy savings from the various ways you can conserve add up. For instance, if we were to follow the five energy-saving suggestions offered by the tool on our hypothetical home, the calculator says we could save $720 per year in energy costs and emit 9,500 fewer pounds of CO2 (see the screenshot to the left for the specific details we entered). The five areas the tool suggests you can reduce your energy consumption and CO2 emissions by changing your behavior are by closing flue dampers when you are not using the fireplace, turning off game consoles when not in use, using Energy Star guidelines for setting your programmable thermostat, using your computers' power management features to put your PCs to sleep when not in use, and to use CFL bulbs. A link on the page points to a set of "Advanced Tips" such as weather-stripping windows and doors and lowering the temperature of hot water heaters.

 Click the above image to see the real energy vampires.
(Credit: Goolge)

These are all solid tips; but as HotHardware is a first-and-foremost a technology site, we've chosen to focus on a couple of the more technologically-based suggestions:

Computer Power Management: Climate Savers Computing estimates that the average computer can save $60 / year by deploying power management. Google experts estimate that the range is $20-$60 in part because desktop computers consume more power than laptops. So we've taken the median and estimated $40 of potential energy savings by deploying power management settings.

The Google calculator indicates that by using power management settings, you can reduce your CO2 emissions by 650 pounds on each computer.

Game Consoles: NRDC
[Natural Resources Defense Council] estimates that a PlayStation 3 or xBox 360 draws 120-200 watts (W) and can significantly exceed 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity over the course of a year; NRDC estimates that many users never power down these devices and thus suggests that simply by turning off these game consoles when not in use that you can save $100 / year. Other game consoles such as the Nintendo Wii and older game consoles use less power - turning them off is still a good idea but the resulting savings will be smaller.

The Google calculator indicates that by doing this you can also reduce your CO2 emissions by 1,650 pounds for each game console.
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