Computer Monitors

Dr. John Vann, Department of Marketing
Green Initiatives Coordinator
October 2001

Savings in electricity are a direct way to help preserve resources and the environment for future generations.  Since almost all of our electricity in Indiana is derived from burning fossil fuels, savings in electricity translate into reduced CO2 emissions and reduced contributions to global warming.  An easy way for us to save electricity is to turn off our computer monitors whenever we are not using the computer.  Monitors use about 2/3 of the electricity of the total system.  (Screen savers do not save electricity, they simply prevent images from being burned into the screen.)

Recent calculations indicated that if this practice were followed for all computers on campus, the financial savings (priced at a typical public/consumer rate) would be approximately $200,000 to $300,000 per year.  While Ball State is charged at a bulk rate plus a peak-15-minute charge, the dollar savings would be less, but not insignificant.  However, the reduced carbon dioxide loading to the environment (approximately 9 million pounds per year) is the same regardless of the dollar savings.

There are two easy ways to turn off the monitor.  The first is to do it manually.  The second is to use your system's software to do it.

To set your software:

Windows users simply go to the "My Computer,"
click on "Control Panel,"
on "Display,"
and then on "Screen Saver."
At the bottom of the window, users will see a section that says "Energy saving features of monitor."

Windows 95 users click on "Shut off Monitor,"
set the time,
click "Apply" and "Okay."

Windows 98 users
click on "Settings,"
choose a time under "Turn off Monitor,"
click "Apply" and "Okay."

If you choose one minute, this means that if you don't move the mouse or type on the keyboard for one minute, the monitor will shut off.  Set the time for a period that is short enough to make a significant contribution without the screen's clicking on and off while you're working.  Two to three minutes seems to work well.  To turn the monitor back on after it shuts down, simply move the mouse.