King County, Washington, which encompasses the city of Seattle and outlying suburbs, is making efforts to reduce greenhouse gases by implementing personal computer (PC) power management software. Verdiem, a Seattle-based software company focused on PC Power Management and Green IT, issued a press release saying "as part of King County's nationally recognized initiatives to measurably reduce greenhouse gases and prepare for climate change, King County and Verdiem, Inc. today announced the results of the county's deployment of Verdiem's SURVEYOR PC Power Management Software. Since deployment in October 2007, Verdiem's SURVEYOR has enabled King County's agencies to reduce energy consumption by an average of 38 percent and eliminate more than 3 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. The software also helped King County departments achieve PC energy costs reductions ranging up to 62 percent - equal to about 140-thousand dollars in savings."
Furthermore, Verdiem explains, "King County purchased Verdiem's SURVEYOR for nearly 10,000 PCs in 18 departments, ranging from the Metropolitan King County Council to the Department of Transportation. While SURVEYOR can be managed by central IT, each of the 18 agencies in King County has the flexibility to set their own PC power management policies and the Department of Community and Human Services has been able to achieve energy cost saving of 62%. King County's deployment of SURVEYOR has enabled the county to nearly reach their PC energy efficiency goals for 2009 – with SURVEYOR already achieving 38.6 percent of the County's targeted 39.6 percent goal for PC energy reduction."
Verdiem claims that a typical PC consumes 535kWh of electricity a year and two-thirds of that energy is wasted when the computer is not in active use, primarily outside of business hours. Here is a video produced by ZDNet that further explains the energy consumption and related costs of personal computers.