Many of us are taking steps personally to prepare for higher energy bills this winter. From turning down the thermostat, to wearing extra layers of clothing, we are bracing ourselves for the colder weather. But how prepared is your business?

Businesses typically use more energy than consumer households and pay a higher tariff. However, there are steps you can take to reduce energy consumption, minimising costs and supporting sustainability, including one game changer:

1 – Schedule savings by powering off

Switching off selectively during quieter periods or outside of business hours can save energy. Where possible, it makes sense to switch-off devices, such as Access Points and other Ethernet-powered (PoE) kit.

By analyzing IT usage and consumption metrics, you can apply configurations changes and implement automation to achieve energy savings.

We estimate that powering off 1,000 PoE Access Point (10 Watts (W) devices for 12 hours each day can lead to energy savings of approximately 43,500 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year.​

Find out how to save energy through Power over Ethernet.


2 – Use energy management software to streamline your hardware

According to the September 2022 Data Centres and Data Transmission Networks Tracking report from the International Energy Agency (IEA)1, on a global scale, 0.9 -1.3% of the total electricity used in the world goes to data centres. Reducing your data centre compute energy consumption can reduce costs and support your country’s power grid. Software such as Cisco Intersight Workload Optimizer (IWO) can analyse your Virtual Machine estate and deliver actionable recommendations to reduce compute resource allocation.

The Forrester Total Economic Impact™ Study commissioned by Cisco (February 2021), which analysed six Cisco customers,indicated that we are reducing resource utilization (CPU and memory) by 20% whilst maintaining performance, using IWO.

Find out how to reduce the energy consumption of your servers.


3 – Optimise HVAC efficiency – reduce heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) costs

Data center cooling systems can be oversized and operate at partial loads. However, there are industry standards in place to help ensure the appropriate temperature and humidity conditions. By installing sensors and a visibility dashboard, such as Cisco Meraki, you can reduce energy expenditure and waste.

Combining the application of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) standards, environmental sensor data, and proactive monitoring can reduce energy costs and carbon emissions by 20-50% 3, according to the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and the Federal Energy Management Program Quick Start Guide to Increase Data Center Energy Efficiency.

Find out how to improve data centre energy efficiency.


4 – Reduce energy consumption by enabling office hours

Collaboration devices, such as the Cisco Desk and Room Series, are key to the hybrid work experience. Setting office hours on Cisco Devices prevents them from waking up if they detect motion in the room, saving energy and extending screen lifetime in the long run.

Find out how to optimise your devices.


5 – The game changer – save energy with Power over Ethernet

A feature that can help our customers achieve their sustainability goals is Power over Ethernet, commonly referred to as PoE. Cisco has integrated PoE into our Catalyst switching family over the past decade. Throughout 2022, we have taken it to a new level with the introduction of UPoE+. UPOE+ lets building operators gain unprecedented flexibility to design workspaces around users, not outlets. This can return a 30% reduction in electrical materials costs. By using a DC microgrid with UPOE+, you can eliminate conversion losses from AC to DC, resulting in savings at every load. Smart buildings can often provide a 45% improvement in energy efficiency through the use of DC power4.


Technology can be a driver for reducing energy consumption, and, by taking these simple steps, your business can reduce impacts and support sustainability.

We all have a part to play in the energy crisis. Join us in making a difference this winter! Check out our best practices in the infographics above and engage your Cisco Account Team for help and further sustainability discussions. You can also learn more in this Sustainability webinar.

Learn more about IT and Sustainability at Cisco.

1 https://www.iea.org/reports/data-centres-and-data-transmission-networks
2 https://www.cisco.com/c/dam/en/us/products/collateral/cloud-systems-management/intersight-workload-optimizer/iwo-forrester-tei.pdf?dtid=oemels001119&ccid=cc001268&ecid=28110&oid=rptcsm024712

3 https://www.gsa.gov/cdnstatic/data_center_quick_start_03_09_508_compliant.pdf

4 https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/collateral/nb-06-smart-building-technologies-guide.html0.0.0.4