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Verdiem: Nyquil for energy-hog PCs

Surveyor application puts company PCs in low-power mode on a schedule, which can save 60 percent on energy costs and 40 percent on carbon emissions.

Talk about low-hanging fruit.

Verdiem on Wednesday is expected to release an update of its software that monitors desktop Windows PCs and puts them in low-power mode when they're idle. A PC usually wastes about two-thirds of the energy it uses.

The application also gathers data on energy usage of PCs on a network so that companies can measure their energy savings and reductions of carbon emissions.

Renewable energy sources are flashy but tend to be more expensive than conventional power.

Verdiem's software lets companies measure energy savings or greenhouse gas reductions. Verdiem

By contrast, energy-efficiency technologies typically have a quicker payback while eliminating waste.

Verdiem's Surveyor application can pay for itself within a year by saving between $20 and $60 per PC, according to a company.

For a large corporate network, that's serious money: a 10,000 PC network could mean half a million dollars in savings, said Matt Heinz, senior director of marketing at the company.

Energy in data centers is getting more attention because usage is going up rapidly with more Web users coming online and more power-hungry servers.

PCs and monitors, meanwhile, are 40 percent of IT budgets' energy usage, according to Gartner. Severs, including cooling, take up around about 23 percent, with the rest in communications, networking, and printers.

Energy conservation is becoming a concern both for IT organizations facing rising costs and people responsible for corporate sustainability initiatives, according to Gartner.

Verdiem touts its environmental credentials: last year, its software saved $6 million and prevented almost 38,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases, the company said. That's the equivalent of about 4 million gallons of gas saved, or 8,200 cars not driven for a year.

Verdiem Surveyor 5.0 has a console to centrally configure different devices and additional reporting tools. It also has better integration with Windows Vista and integrates with Intel's vPro PC management technology so that it can access machines that aren't turned on.

The company has about 200 customers.