California district saves power and $350,000

Chaffey Joint Union High School District (CJUHSD) is a grade 9-12 school district located in San Bernardino County, California. This rapidly growing district has over 2,000 employees and 25,000 students operating on over 5,000 workstations in an all-Windows environment. There are also 40 physical servers and approximately 10 virtual servers which are increasing as they consolidate to enterprise-level virtualization.

With no existing PC power management strategy in place, the district’s computers were often left powered on overnight, wasting a colossal amount of energy and money. The school district was searching for ways to save money and knew that a dedicated PC power management strategy could offer a quick return on investment.

CJUHSD’s IT Department had originally tried to power the district’s computers down via a system restore solution with automated shut-down capabilities. However, there was no way to specify which applications, when running, should prohibit the system from powering down into sleep mode. Also, because there were no specific reporting features, it was impossible to determine how much energy was being consumed or saved.

The district account manager suggested looking intoFaronics Power Save, which uses "intelligent" energy management to ensure workstations are available when system resources are required, while conserving power during productivity downtimes. To prevent Power Save from kicking in at inopportune times, like when students are using AutoCad, IT staff adds the program to the Critical Applications list.

The district initially tested Power Save in Audit Mode on approximately 4,000 workstations. The Audit Mode feature enables organizations to determine energy consumed as well as the potential for savings, without actually starting to manage power. After learning that by configuring Power Save to take action after 45 minutes of inactivity, it could save over $100,000 a year, the district fully enabled Power Save - and lowered the inactivity settings to 30 minutes to save even more money.

Within one month CJUHSD saw a significant difference in their electric bills. The district reduced their PC energy consumption by over $350,000 in a year, over $70 per workstation.

In March of 2010 the district upgraded to the latest release of Power Save. “I am extremely impressed by the evolution of Power Save. The latest version(s) include even more savings reports and features that offered even more configuration flexibility from when we first installed it,” said CJUHSD Network Specialist David Patzold.