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PC Monitor Power Management Options

When a PC is shut down at the end of the day, the monitor isn’t necessarily shut off too.

Ever wonder how much this may be costing you?

There are 4 power management options that a monitor can use.

They are:

ModePowerApproximate Recovery Time
On100%0 Second
Standby< 80%1 Second
Suspend< 30W5 Seconds
Active Off< 8 W20 Seconds


Using the example of a Dell 1901FP we can see that in the ON mode, it uses 75W maximum, but 55W is typical. However, in the Active-off mode it uses less than 3W. If we assume that a PC is turned off for at least 14 hours a day then we can calculate the power savings we will have by setting the Active-off mode for this monitor.

In 2011, the average cost per kWh in the commercial sector was 10.29¢ according to the Energy Information Administration.

55W – 3W = 52W

52W * 14 hours = 728W in savings or ~7.5¢ per monitor/Day or $27.37/monitor/Year

If you multiply this amount by the number of monitors in your environment you are talking about some serious dollar amounts.

5,000 monitors = $136,845.80

10,000 monitors = $273,691.60

100,000 monitors = $2,736,916.00

More savings can also be realized if modes other than “ON” are used throughout the day.

Energy Star has a Low Carbon IT Campaign and it lists power-managing computers as the #1 way to reduce IT energy costs. http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=power_mgt.pr_power_mgt_low_carbon

Quoting Energy Star’s web site:

“Hundreds of leading organizations have activated system standby and hibernate settings. Read how GE, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, North Thurston Public Schools and others are saving as much as $75 per computer annually.” http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=power_mgt.pr_power_mgt_enterprises

Do you know what power management setting your monitors use?

Monitor Information Reportingwill tell you what is in use!

Use the Energy Star calculator to help you determine cost savings: Estimate your savings using our online savings calculator

For more information about monitor power management options: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VESA_Display_Power_Management_Signaling