We are beyond the discussion of climate change, it is now time to take action.

We are constantly seeing the impacts on the world’s weather with our own eyes and from a purely humanist perspective these impacts should encourage us to reduce our emissions in any way we can. At Meridian, we are trying to address an often forgotten area and one area where these reductions can easily be made by the majority of people, is within the field of IT. Computer usage globally accounts for about 2% of CO2 emissions: surprisingly about the same as the aviation industry.

As the improvements in computing have evolved so rapidly, so too has our awareness of the scarceness and true costs of the energy and materials required to power them. This has created an interesting dichotomy; currently office equipment accounts for around 15% of total UK energy use. This should rise to about 30% by 2020, with computer equipment accounting for about two-thirds of the energy consumption. However, as computing can also empower businesses and individuals to embrace greener practices, computing is undeniably both part of the problem and also part of the solution.

By promoting the use of energy-efficient PCs improving power management and increasing shutdown at periods of inactivity, impressive savings of energy and money can be made. The average PC wastes over half of the power it receives; mostly when it is doing very little or nothing at all. Too many of us (The National Energy Foundation estimates 18% of us, creating an extra 700k tonnes of CO2 a year) leave our machines on at lunchtimes, evenings and weekends.

We have tried below to answer your questions that have been put to us in the past and we welcome any comments or questions that you have for us for your future.

If you have any urgent issues or questions you can speak with us now on - 01780 482795

Is it really worth going green?

Organizations are “going green” in many areas, and now the IT departments are being scrutinized because data centres and servers are the biggest wrongdoers when it comes to IT wastefulness.

Many organizations today have an abundance of servers, and most of them are underutilized. Typically servers operate at 5%-20% of full processing capacity, but are still using energy. Tack on the cost it takes to run hundreds if not thousands of desktop PC's every day and power costs alone are putting dents in already tight IT budgets.

What about thin client computing?

Thin client computing is a concept that has been around for decades. During the late 70s, a “dumb terminal,” or a computer without a hard drive, were being used. They were similar to a thin client in that all processing was done from the CPU or computer they connected to. A dumb terminal was simply an output device or display monitor that had no computational power to do anything besides display, send and receive text.

Thin client computing has advanced drastically in the last decade and can today rival traditional PCs in performance. Thin client computing has advanced to the point where users can’t tell the difference between a thin device and a “fat” (standard desktop) PC. This user experience, coupled with the extensive cost, security, manageability, and scalability benefits of thin clients, is the reason IT personnel in various industries are exploring – and switching – to alternative desktop computing.

What’s the best way to reduce a computer’s energy consumption?

Switch it off when not in use! this may seem obvious, but a computer turned OFF, will always use less power than one that is turned ON. Overnight, at the weekend and when on holiday, and don’t forget to turn it off at the mains.

Did you know - if you don’t turn your machine off at the mains, it still uses electricity! Next time you turn off, take a look at the back and see the lights still flashing at you.

Does turning your computer on and off use more energy than leaving it turned on overnight?

No, it’s a common misconception that your computer requires large amounts of power to start up. The power involved is about the same consumed during maximum regular use.

Doesn’t constantly rebooting your computer ruin your hard disk?

Actually no, most PCs will need to be replaced due to advances in technology long before the effectsof being switched on and off multiple times have a negative impact on their service life.

My computer takes ages to start after being turned off. What can I do?

When most programs are installed on your PC, many are set to run on start-up by default. To check what they are, go to Start, Run, then type MSConfig and hit enter. Choose the Startup tab to see the Startup list. Reduce these to those that are necessary, (like your anti-virus protection) your machine will start quicker and reduce any unnecessary load on your system. If you are unsure as to what is necessary, take professional advice first.

Will the Standby/Sleep Mode on my computer help save energy?

Yes, however these settings are not usually manufacturer’s defaults. They can be configured in your Control Panel’s power settings/options. Great for when you are interrupted by the phone or other office distractions as they temporarily put your system to sleep to save power, yet come back to life at the touch of a button, or movement of the mouse.

Do multiple applications being open at once matter?

They certainly do! The more applications you have open, the heavier the load on your system and CPU usage. Close unused applications to optimise your processing power and reduce your electric consumption.

What practical energy saving software is there that can help me at work?

Meridian can provide face recognition software that automatically puts your monitor and system to sleep when you look, or move away from your screen, then start up again when you return. This additional security factor prevents accounting, and any other sensitive legal information being viewable in your absence.

What about savings on printing?

Firstly, do you always need to print? Try to automate printing procedures wherever possible. Try educating fee earners on the best electronic methods of time recording, report viewing and digital dictation.

Share your printers, scanners, copiers and have fax-to-desktop software. One large printer instead of multiple individual ones will reduce power consumption and cut maintenance costs on ink, toner and fuser units.

Organise a print schedule by having a set time of the day when people can print. Only turn on your printer during these times.If your printer doesn’t have a duplex facility, why not try arranging your printing so all you have do is turn over the paper to print on both sides, you’d be amazed how much paper this saves. When you do need to internally print, try changing your printer settings to draft mode, this will save your toner and reduce replacement costs.

What exactly is a Green Computer?

The green computers sold by Meridian are the most energy efficient and carbon neutrally made in the world. Recommended by Energy Saving Trust, they are designed to reduce the environmental impact during their manufacture, use, and end of life.The best news is that the average desktop pc typically consumes on average 114.7 watts (Gartner 2008) The Broadleaf “green” computers sold by Meridian use as little as 25 watts of electricity on average - a huge reduction!

Is it true that Green Computers cost a fortune?

No, they are only slightly more expensive but the energy saving attributes is practically enough to pay for themselves over their operational life, plus there is a 5 year Return to base (RTB) warranty included in the price. Most other manufacturers only provide a 1 year warranty as standard

Do you charge for the disposal of old computers?

We do not charge if we are replacing old for new computer items. However we will dispose of your old computers for a minimal charge of £5 per item in Group A and £5 per 3 items in Group B.

Group A = Desktop Printer, Desktop Computer, Laptop, Monitor

Group B = Keyboard, mouse, telephone, switches, routers, associated cables,

Please contact us for pricing as there may be a collection cost involved, dependent upon your location.

What guarantee do I have that my data has been deleted?

We will supply you with certification confirming that your data is no longer accessible.