Starting today, more than 3,000 Anchorage computer monitors will be programmed to automatically go to sleep when not in use. The low-energy sleep mode will save the city an estimated $84,000 a year in electricity costs. It also will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1,104 tons a year, equal to taking 251 cars off the road.

"This is one of the simple things the city should be doing to save money and cut our global warming emissions," said Mayor Mark Begich. "It makes sense economically and environmentally to find more ways to cut our energy use."

The mayor announced the switch at the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce's "Make It Monday" forum where he accepted the Green Star Award for City Hall. To achieve the award, the City had to meet eight standards set by Green Star for recycling, waste prevention, improved purchasing, outreach to other organizations, education of employees, reduction of toxic materials, water conservation and energy efficiency.

Some of the steps taken at City Hall to meet these Green Star standards include:

  • changing purchasing habits to increase the use of recyclable and reusable products
  • implementing an expanded recycling program
  • replacing lighting fixtures and installing motion sensors to save energy and reduce carbon dioxide emissions
  • retrofitting City Hall heating and ventilation, electrical, and air conditioning to save energy and reduce carbon dioxide emissions
  • establishing a Cooking Oil Working Group to reuse waste cooking oil for heating
  • reducing the use of pesticides in downtown areas
  • starting a downtown business cardboard recycling program