By City News Service
New power-conservation devices being installed on computers used in Riverside County government facilities are expected to net the county tens of thousands of dollars in annual savings, an official said Wednesday.
Southern California Edison is, at no cost to the county, providing the Economic Development Agency with 3,200 motion-sensor surge suppressors to connect to personal computers at county buildings in Beaumont, Blythe, Cathedral City, Cherry Valley, Corona, Desert Hot Springs, Hemet, Idyllwild, Lake Elsinore, Moreno Valley, Murrieta, Norco, Palm Desert, Palm Springs, Perris, Rubidoux, San Jacinto, Sun City and Temecula.
"The suppressor to be installed is unique because it has a motion sensor that will automatically power off peripheral computer items — monitor, printer, desk lamp, etc. — when an employee is gone for 30 minutes or more," said county EDA spokesman Tom Freeman.
The terminal itself remains on, in sleep mode, and the peripheral items are automatically powered back up when an employee returns to his or her workstation, he said.
According to the EDA, the devices will reduce individual workstation costs by $25 to $50 per year, resulting in roughly $80,000 to $160,000 a year in lower electricity costs to the county.
The devices were supplied as part of an energy savings program available exclusively to SCE customers.
According to Freeman, the EDA is attempting to secure a grant to purchase additional motion-sensor devices for facilities outside of SCE territory.
In 2009, the Board of Supervisors approved the SCRAPE program — "Safeguard County of Riverside Against Preventable Expenses" — introduced by then-board Chairman Jeff Stone. One of the program's top priorities was to reduce utility costs at all facilities.