The University of Abertay Dundee is the first higher education institution in the UK to trial the Carbon Control Software Pilot Scheme on its computers, which could slash its energy costs by up to 40%.
The free Carbon Control Software, manufactuerd by a company with the same name, works by providing real-time accurate measurements of computer activity on PCs and laptops, and puts them into standby mode during periods of inactivity.
The measurements are then processed and expressed in terms of energy usage, energy cost savings and CO2 savings when PCs are switched into standby mode during periods of inactivity.
This means that universities, local authorities, companies and organisations with an IT network can report and disclose levels of energy consumption as well as enforcing computer energy policies on their network infrastructure.
Steve McLeod, senior information specialist at Abertay, said, "Everyone is aware of how important a role IT plays in the running of the university and indeed of so many organisations, but not everyone is aware that it has a larger carbon footprint than the aviation industry.
"We were keen to see how Carbon Control Software worked as the university is working hard to find ways of reducing its carbon footprint, and after a demonstration we saw the potential benefits both financial and environmental," he said.
The pilot scheme is currently running on 150 university PCs and will be more widely extended if successful. The university runs a total of 2,500 PCs across its departments.