Image via NComputing
NComputing is a California-based company that has created a $70 networked computer that uses about 1 to 5 watts of power for each networked device. Through virtualization software, as many as 30 users can share a single PC, and still be able to do what they would on a regular dedicated PC, from running videos to accessing the Internet. Such a set-up is ideal for many schools and businesses since it accomplishes their needs while sipping power. And that's just why energy companies are actually paying people to use these devices instead. Many electric utilities in the US and Canada have decided that NComputing products qualify for some big rebates and discounts. The rebates cover some or all of the cost of buying NComputing products. Seattle Light, for example, offers a $25 rebate on each NComputing device. San Diego Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison, and BC Hydro offer rebates that range all the way up to full product cost. That's a huge help for schools undergoing budget cuts, and businesses feeling the economic pinch.
Not only could the users save money on the machines, but also on the energy bills. For example, Duke Energy offers an $.08 per kWh rate reduction for qualified users.
The company is already aligned with utilities that serve millions of customers in California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Washington, and Wisconsin and Manitoba and British Columbia in Canada. And they're working on getting linked up with many more.
NComputing also tosses out some interesting facts about the impact of using virtualization software and hardware:
Worldwide, there are 850 million PCs in use, and each one requires at least 110 watts of electricity. If NComputing systems were used at a ratio of six seats to each PC, energy use would decline by over 120 billion kilowatt hours per year. That would reduce CO₂ emissions by 96 million metric tons – the equivalent of planting 460 million trees. NComputing also reduces e-waste. The devices weigh just a few ounces (compared with 20 pounds for an average desktop PC) and could reduce e-waste by 6.7 million metric tons per year.
Not only do the rebates help cash-strapped organizations like schools and small businesses get hooked in to energy efficient computing, but will also take some of the burden off a power-strapped grid that needs an overhaul. It could be a great solution for a lot of PC intensive environments.
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