OK, I know, this doesn’t sound very exciting but…
I was annoyed by all of the power supply transformers (wall warts) that sit there all night plugged in and using a considerable amount of power even when the devices being powered are off. So, I decided to separate the power going to my desk into four categories. There are lots of peripherals, lots of chargers and items that need to keep running.
Going from left to right. The first power strip is a UPS power supply that operates the cable modem/telephone, a wireless router and supplies a power strip that powers my PC and monitors. That one is the white one all the way on the right of the photo. This allows me to shut off the computer and monitor completely when they are not in use. And, yes, I know there is the idea that it is better to leave the computer on all the time but I think the power savings will make up for any reduce life expectancy of the computer. I’ve shut of PCs for quite a while now and my computers seem to last a very long time anyway. The UPS supply stays on all the time since who knows who will need to use the modem and router and when and we need the modem alive for the telephone.
Now the next power strip powers all the peripherals (printer, scanner, film scanner, hard drive dock, etc. These do not need to be on all the time so I can save some power here.
The next strip powers all the chargers, cellphone, etc. That can also be off when not in use which is most of the time.
I’m applying this to other areas of the house so as well so we will see how much this saves. There is a Mac Mini on one of our TVs running Boxee so this doesn’t always need to be on. Since there are four of us using PCs this could save a good deal more than just using it on my desk.
I’ve also saved power thanks to VirtualBox since I no longer need a PC for Windows and one for Linux. I just run Windows in a VM under Linux.