Saving computing power
For the last few years, the Orlando, Fla., Technology Management Division has been leading a citywide effort to clean out 3,000 outdated, inefficient computers and monitors and replace them with the most current models. The city’s new equipment choices have depended largely on the energy efficiency of the hardware.
The technology refresh project is a component of Mayor Buddy Dyer’s Green Works Orlando initiative, which aims to protect natural resources and encourage environmentally friendly lifestyles and business practices. “When we invest in more energy-efficient computers and electronic devices, we save money and help our employees do their jobs more efficiently,” Dyer says.
Orlando contracted with Vernon Hills, Ill.-based CDW Government (CDW-G) to help craft a plan to upgrade the city’s nearly decade-old technology and meet its environmental protection goals. IT staff selected a variety of low-energy, high-performance monitors and laptops, power-efficient LCD screens, and small computers that help reduce power and cooling costs. “Given the citywide focus on lessening our impact on the environment, it was very important to us that we replace our old hardware with technology that would support the goals of Green Works Orlando,” says Conrad Cross, chief information officer. “We found that the best way to jumpstart the push for a greener way of doing business was to start from the ground up, replacing our aging desktops and laptops.”
Although the purchase prices of the more energy-efficient choices are higher than traditional models, city leaders evaluated the long-term energy costs and determined they would save money over the life of the equipment. “One of the key components of this hardware refresh was education,” Cross says. “Although we spent more per unit on the front end of the implementation compared to non-energy efficient equipment, the mayor, city council and other decision makers understood that the savings from more energy-efficient computing operations will be far greater on the back end.”
The technology department is auditing the old computers to determine the wattage they required and establishing a baseline for the new machines’ power consumption so the benefits can be measured accurately. All of the new equipment will be installed by 2009.
Project: Citywide computer hardware replacement
Jurisdiction: Orlando, Fla.
Agency: Technology Management
Vendor: Vernon Hills, Ill.-based CDW Government
Cost: $3 million