LocalCooling Against Global Warming
|Published:||Dec 19, 2006|
LocalCooling Against Global Warming
by Martin Debattista
This article originally appeared in the Times of Malta and is publishedhere with permission.
The power consumption of electronic products, especially computers andrelated hardware, is in the news a lot at the moment. Many articlesreport on the monetary cost of powering PCs. Software company, UniblueSystems, thinks money is not the only issue related to energyconsumption and has just launched an initiative to make computer usersaware of the fact that wiser energy consumption of their machinescontributes towards a better environment.
It is estimated more than 30 billion kilowatts of energy are wastedbecause people forget to shut down their computers when leaving theoffice. The carbon dioxide emissions from 15 computers areequivalent in energy terms to the fuel used by one car.
Malta-based Uniblue Systems created a downloadable application,available at http://www.localcooling.com, that automatically finds acomputer's power settings and presents them in an easy-to-use interfacewhich lets the user optimize the energy efficiency of their PC. Thismeans savings on electricity bills for the users and also a reduction inthe amount of gases emitted from powering a computer.
Though energy-saving options are familiar to laptop users who have tomake batteries last as long as possible, desktop computer users runningon the electricity supply may overlook the importance of saving onenergy.
"The idea was originally conceived by the Uniblue Labs team - a divisionof the company responsible for creating innovative solutions - as an in-house project to make Uniblue more power-efficient, therefore doing ourbit to make a difference to the escalating issue of global warming," explained Bosse Malmberg, the Swedish owner and chief executive officerof Uniblue.
"As we were working on it, we thought that if we were taking time todevelop this for ourselves, we should also release it to the public,hence the idea for the website and the interface was born. We had thebasic program and then developed the idea to make it interactive and funto use, adding meaningful environmental statistics and Top 100 leaguetables for individuals, teams and companies."
Uniblue aims to create a community at http://www.localcooling.comand has added a forum for users, instructions how to link to blogs, andother websites, and a messaging system for users to spread the messageabout global cooling to their friends and contacts.
Within a few days of being launched, around 15,000 users saved over29,000 KWh, equivalent to over 14000 gallons of oil and 1500 trees.
The goal is to introduce 100 million PC users to the Local Coolingcommunity. With that many members they could prevent over 300 billionkilos of gas emissions each year.
Uniblue was launched in 2003 and provides award-winning softwareproducts designed to deliver superior performance, protection andsecurity to PC users in the home, small-office/home office and businessmarkets.
The European Commission last year warned that up to 10 per cent ofhousehold consumption in Europe comes from equipment on stand-by mode.
The use of computer systems, complete with monitors, printers, modemsand mobile phone chargers alone accounts for 20 per cent of energyconsumption in households.
The Commission also revealed that satellite, cable and digitalterrestrial TV set-top boxes consume 28 watts at all times. Broadbandequipment such as a modem and a router consume 20 watts at all times,even when not in use. This could correspond to up to five per cent ofhousehold consumption.
Martin Battista is an award-winning technology journalist and educator. He has been covering technology-related issues from a social point of view since 1995. He is also a pioneer of the Maltese online media, launching the first Maltese internet-based news service at MaltaMedia.com.