Underneath my desk, there is a ball of wires and cords that some days resembles sticky pasta in the colander, plus my wireless router, which I kick over at least one time a day. I am embarrassed to admit publicly that while I have a surge protector I have no UPS (aka uninterruptible power supply), which I'm sure will cause many of you to shake your heads in disgust. It wasn't until I started covering this beat that I realized this omission might not just have implications for PROVIDING power when the electricity cuts out but also for MANAGING the electricity load for the things my spaghetti-cords are attached to.
Here's an example of what I mean. Well-known power management technology company APC (now part of Schneider Electric) is starting to ship a new product this month in the United States that helps cut back on electricity usage for idle peripherals when your computer is taking a nap.
The APC Back-UPS ES 750 is a basically a UPS that'll protect your technology if the power supply is cut AND that was also engineered to help minimize electricity usage. Here are the green stats that the West Kingston, R.I., company holds up:
- The UPS requires about five times less power than competitive products. It offers about 70 minutes of run-time in an outage depending on what's attached to it.
- It comes with "master/controlled" outlets (10 in all). Basically, all this means is that the outlets sense the draw on the UPS. When the computer switches into sleep mode or is shut down, any related controlled outlets will also be shut down. This addresses the vampire phenomenon, because things like printers and scanners and speakers and so on that require an external power source still suck down power even when they're in standby mode. APC estimates that it can save owners about $40 per year in electricity by better controlling these adjunct technology devices. Every little bit.
- Materials-wise, the APC Back-UPS ES 750 complies with the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) and its packaging was made from recycled materials.
The pricetag on the new UPS is $99.99. While I'm not in the habit of endorsing products in this blog, if you're in the market for a workstation-class UPS, why not opt for the greener option?