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Best Practices

Energy Efficient Computing


  • Do not leave your computer running overnight and on weekends
  • Try to plan your computer-related activities so you can do them all at once, keeping the computer off at other times
  • A modest amount of turning on and off will not harm the computer or monitor. The life of a monitor is related to the amount of time it is in use, not the number of on and off cycles
  • The best screen saver is no screen saver at all - turn off your monitor when you are not using it. This option is second best only to turning off your computer all together


  • Do not turn on the printer until you are ready to print. Printers consume energy even while they are idling
  • Review your document on the screen instead of printing a draft. If you must print a draft, use the blank back side of used paper
  • Use a printer that can print double-sided documents. When making copies, use double-sided copying
  • Do not print out copies of email unless necessary
  • Use "paperless" methods of communication such as email, Google Chat, and scan-to-email

Smart Power Strips

We encourage you to reduce the amount of electricity you use in your office or workspace and help the Law School save energy by requesting a motion sensing power strip (MSPS).

The MSPS has 8 outlets. Six of these are controlled by an infrared motion sensor, while two outlets are not controlled (and therefore do not get turned off).

  • While the occupant is working at his or her desk, normal movements keep the “controlled” equipment on
  • When the occupant leaves, the power strip automatically turns off the equipment that is plugged into the “controlled” outlets after a period of inactivity. The length of “wait time” varies from 30 seconds to 30 minutes and can be determined by the occupant
  • Typical items to consider for the “controlled” outlets would be computer monitors (but not the computer itself), speakers, radios, task lights, fans, various types of chargers, etc.
  • These power strips also provide surge protection for all equipment that is plugged in to them
The MSPS will be provided for free. Your part is to commit to using the power strip as explained in the simple instructions included in the power strip box. By following these instructions, you will be able to maximize the electricity savings afforded by the MSPS.


More computing best practices for office and home.