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Round Rock Schools Are Saving Big Just By Turning Off Computers
Round Rock ISD estimates it could cut down 2.4 million kilowatt-hours per year.

Most computer users are familiar with sleep mode. But the Round Rock Independent School District has found the value in shutting their computers down completely.

The school district is expected to save an estimated $251,000 annually by using a program that automatically shuts computers down after 6 p.m. Over 30,000 desktops and laptops are automatically shut down, drastically cutting energy costs.

Wesley Perkins, energy manager for the school district, was first approached with the idea of the switch off by several software companies two years ago. The companies said their services would save $500,000. However, they also asked for that much in return,

“I was floored,” Perkins says. “When they came in and said, 'I can save you about $500,000 a year,' that was so high I just couldn't believe it,” Perkins says.

After doing their own research, Perkins realized Round Rock could save closer to $250,000. The district also realized they already had the capability to add an application that would shut down the computers themselves.

The district’s app notifies computer users with a pop-up window, warning them that the computer will shut down in 15 minutes

While Perkins says there were initial concerns from faculty about having to take the time to let computers boot up every morning, those were alleviated when staff saw how much it would save.

“I have not received a single criticism since it worked out,” Perkins says. “$251,000 is just a lot of money.”

Roy is a second year journalism professional track graduate student at the University of Texas.