Automotive giant Ford Motor has developed a PC Power Management system for all its Windows desktops and notebook computers, using the NightWatchman software application from 1E as the foundation. It figures the new program will save up to $1.2 million annually on energy, or the reduction of about 16,000 to 25,000 metric tons from its carbon footprint. For perspective, the combined savings for Ford's energy efficiency efforts in 2008 was about $16 million. So, yes, power management at the desktop is definitely impactful.
The company took steps to create a central policy when it realized only about 40 percent of its employees were optimizing the power settings on their systems or doing an even simpler thing—turning their computers off at night or over the weekend. The policy is being phased into Ford's U.S. operations this month; it will become a worldwide initiative later this year.
The shutdowns that Ford has adopted for certain conditions during the weekday are voluntary: that is, if someone is working late, he or she will be warned before the computer shuts down. If for some reason, the person doesn't respond, the software will take steps to save the work, just in case.