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A new computer power management project that should yield hundreds of thousands of dollars in energy savings and help the environment is being tested for U.S. Air Forces in Europe.

The software package will place government computer monitors on sleep mode if left untouched for 20 minutes and entire computer systems to sleep after one hour of inactivity.

USAFE officials estimate that computer consumption rates will drop from about 45 kilowatts per hour to 5 kilowatts per hour while asleep, saving roughly $400,000 each year if downloaded on just 50 percent of the command’s computers. Approximately 3,600 unclassified nonmission "NIPRNET" computer systems are slated to get the software.

"Mission computer systems will not be included or affected by this energy savings measure," USAFE spokesman Master Sgt. Corey Clements said.

Clements said most computers with the software will see no changes in its performance. Movement of the mouse or pressing any key on the keyboard can "wake up" the computer. Any items left open on the computer will be saved during its "reduced consumption mode."

Computer users should start seeing the new features by October, he said. "Once testing is complete, we plan to incrementally implement computer power management across USAFE," he said.

The command’s A6 section and Detachment 4 of the 83rd Network Operation Squadron is in charge of the software testing.

The project, an Air Force Smart Operations 21 initiative, stems from a 2007 presidential order to reduce power consumption and greenhouse gas emissions within government agencies.

The Air Force partnered with private corporations and the Environmental Protection Agency to create the software package, Clements said.


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