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Government budgets are a lot like family budgets these days: there’s barely enough money to go around. In our house, we flip the light switch off to save money and energy, and there’s no reason why governments can’t do the same.
Here are three ways that the public sector can “flip the switch” to reduce waste, get energy efficient, and save money. These strategies can not only reduce your energy expenditures but also potentially reduce your long-term operating expenses on buildings, transportation infrastructure, and IT equipment—three big areas where the savings keep piling up
In the end, these strategies can lead to governments with smaller and more efficient office buildings, workforces that don’t need to travel or commute as much, and centralized, efficient data centers with highly utilized IT equipment. Let’s take a look.
Strategy #1: Make your buildings smart
Building efficiency is one of the biggest opportunities to save money. With this strategy, you use IT to diagnose energy-wasting problems—and prioritize fixes to maximize ROI. Even modern office buildings can be like energy sieves, venting tons of wasted heat into the atmosphere. This waste can be reduced significantly with smarter building-data analysis. My colleague, Michele Bedford Thistle, wrote about this in, “Smart buildings save energy and money,” a great summary of what Microsoft did to save millions through energy-efficient buildings.
Strategy #2: Enable a highly productive mobile workforce
Strategy #3: Consolidate applications to reduce servers
While not the be-all, end-all of waste reduction, these strategies offer significant savings that could help you free up money to provide better citizen services, which is the whole point of government, right? Whatever your role in the public sector, If you’re in charge of spending taxpayer money, you should strongly consider including these three strategies in your government efficiency roadmap. Call me an optimist, but I think if government can learn to turn off an unused light once in awhile, there’s hope for my kids, too.
For more thorough analyses of these topics, read The IT Energy Efficiency Imperative, Microsoft’s Energy Smart Building Case Study, and The Telepresence Revolution.
This article was originally published at the OnGovernment blog.