After successful pilot, computer shut down program expands

Potential savings could top $182,000 annually

By Kristen O’Reilly

UMass Medical School Communications

October 20, 2011

A successful pilot program that automatically shuts down computers in certain departments after work hours is being expanded to the entire Medical School. The potential savings could top $182,000 annually if 75 percent of the 3,828 personal computers on campus are brought into the program, according to Melissa Lucas, sustainability and energy manager.

The pilot program started in the offices of Human Resources, Financial Services, Facilities, the Graduate School of Nursing and Commonwealth Medicine’s Disability Evaluation Services in Auburn. Software already installed on 80 percent of UMMS computers automatically shuts down any computer left on after 8 p.m., unless a participant requests to opt out because he or she requires use of the computer after hours. The computer is powered back up by the participant at the start of the next work day.

“We worked closely with the departments in the pilot program to adjust the shut down as it fit their work requirements,” said Lucas. “Some asked us to shut down later in the evening. Some individuals opted out altogether because they needed access to their computer in off hours.”

A recent analysis by Information Services revealed that 53 percent of campus computers are left on over night during the week, and 50 percent over the weekend.

To complete the campuswide implementation of the program, Lucas has asked each department head to send her the name of a point person to help analyze the department’s requirements. In the meantime, Information Services will work to install the necessary software on the 20 percent of computers without it. For more information, contact Lucas at


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