Vista Power Plan When Microsoft created Vista they realized that they had to do a better job with conserving batteries and energy. Laptops are getting to the point where they last as little as an hour when they are brand new, and that not only reduces productivity but it also means they consume more electricity.

In Vista you’ll see a completely revamped power management screen in the Control Panel, and with it you can choose between several different “states” you want your computer to run in. The best part, however, is that you can completely customize your own power plan, and that’s what I’ve done. In my power plan I have cut back my processor speed, screen brightness, wireless performance, and more when my computer switches into battery mode. Not only does that save my battery life, but it also reduces my PC’s CO2 Emissions.

Out-of-the-box Vista PC’s run in a “Balanced” mode that gives your computer the performance it needs when you’re doing intensive tasks, but reduces it when you’re doing simple tasks like word processing. This is a feature that Microsoft never put in XP, and it can make a real difference on the environment.

Below is a table that shows you what the cost and emissions are on computers running Windows XP and Vista (just the computer, no monitors). The results come straight from Microsoft, and I’m sure there is a little exaggeration but their tests are well documented (PDF). They tested three computers for all of their results, but I took the liberty of averaging them together and converting them into U.S. dollars:

  Windows XP Windows Vista Vista Savings
(1) Computer Annual Cost $110.17 $36.44 $73.73
(200) Computers Annual Cost $22,033.37 $7,287.59 $14,745.78
(1) Computer CO2 Emissions 259 kg 85.33 kg 173.67 kg
(200) Computers CO2 Emissions 57.13 tons 18.89 tons 38.24 tons

As you can see there is a big benefit for corporations who run Windows to make the upgrade to Vista, in terms of energy savings and emissions produced. ;)

This article was written in part for Blog Action Day.