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​Student Council heads effort to cut on library computer energy use

Sustainability Committee hopes to expand plan in near future

Student Council's Sustainability Committee recently headed an initiative to cut down on energy use by changing settings on Alderman Library computer screens to go black after 10 minutes of inactivity, rather than after an hour.

Second-year College student Alex Wolz, a member of the Committee who helped lead the effort, said the amount of time it took for the computers to enter hibernation mode was unnecessary.

“A simple reduction in the amount of time it takes for the computer screens to go black saves electricity and therefore reduces U.Va.'s energy footprint, all without affecting the performance of the computers that students use for research, homework, et cetera,” Wolz said.

James Kelly, supervisor of Information Technology Services' Desktop Image Group, worked closely with Wolz to solve the problem.

Wolz said he also wants the library to figure out a way to shut down its computers each night to further conserve energy.

“If there is a way to remotely turn off all the computers with the push of a button, this will again save a few hours of power, per computer, every day of the year, which adds up to huge reductions,” he said.

Cattaneo said the initiative works both toward the committee’s goal of sustainability and as a means of saving the University money.

“It is great for reducing both carbon and nitrogen emission into the environment,” she said. “Saving this energy is saving us money.”

Wolz said Kelly and his team also seemed willing to expand the changes to the University’s other libraries in the future.