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Among the measures taken is a trial on the use of timer switches on power sockets for printers and copiers, and an effort to use the energy saving options on the Windows Vista operating system, which is to be implemented around the department.

The latter would involve setting up terminals so they switch to ‘hibernate’ or ‘sleep’ after a pre-set time of inactivity.

Defra minister Jonathan Shaw MP outlined the policy in a parliamentary written answer to Peter Ainsworth MP, the shadow secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs. He said the department is trying to make IT energy savings wherever possible.

“We are also ensuring in the same settings that monitors are similarly switched back to their standby power saving mode,” Shaw said.

Other measures include security guards in the London offices switching off machines that are left turned on without explanation during the night time patrols, and messages on the departmental intranet urging staff to turn off equipment during holiday periods. Also, stickers are placed on computer screens providing staff with reminders.


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