Negawatts: The watts saved when a decision is made to save electricity not through efficiency but simply by ceasing to perform the activity that required electricity. For example, many companies have discontinued scheduled full virus scans, thereby saving the energy that was required to scan the entire hard drive. I got this term from a white paper on Green IT from KPMG.
I love the term “negawatts.” It invites us to re-examine every routine activity from a utilitarian perspective. Does the client really need a redundant power supply on every server? What if Tech Networks just kept a few HP server power supplies on hand in case of emergency? If an hour of downtime for some servers is acceptable, why not save electricity and resources by ordering a server with just one power supply? Anyway, a server with redundant power supplies is not truly redundant. The circuit board that allows power supply failover is a single point of failure.
Here’s another area where negawatts make sense: Stop leaving your office computer on at night so that you can access it remotely. There are so many other ways for you to get email and files without leaving your computer on. Remote access software vendors need to own up to the fact that their software forces subscribers to waste energy.
At Tech Networks, most employees use their own laptop to access company resources. Whether they are at the office, at home, or at an Internet cafe, the process is the same.
Many of us take the commuter rail to the office. With a broadband card, we are able to hook up and get the day started early. Our resource manager starts deploying the troops from his seat on the train at 6:00AM.
Tech Networks also pays for 50% of employees’ public transportation passes. I guess keeping cars off the road doesn’t earn us negawatts, but it sure counts as negamiles!