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Knox County, Tenn., is promoting the event not only internally to its employees, but also externally to citizens and businesses.

There are about 3.8 million state and local government employees in the nation, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. If each of those workers shut off their computer, monitor and printer at the end of a workday it would save about 4.9 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy -- enough to power more than 5,300 homes for one month.

Friday, Aug. 27, will mark the third-annual Power IT Down Day, an event that encourages the public and private sectors to turn off their IT equipment at the end of the workday to save energy. For each person who participates in the event, an average of 13 kWh will be saved for each night the equipment is turned off. Participants can sign up at www.powerITdown.org. The event is sponsored by Citrix, Intel, HP and GTSI, which are working together to spread the word on benefits of energy-efficient initiatives.

"The whole concept is around raising awareness of what individual information technology users can do to contribute to green IT efforts and the overall conservation of energy within an organization," said Tom Simmons, the area vice president for U.S. Public Sector at Citrix. "Our primary focus is awareness in government because it's the largest single user of information technology out there, but we are also targeting the industry that supports government and will expand it as broad and wide as we can."

Agencies at all levels of government have inquired about how to participate, and at least 11 counties are promoting Power IT Down Day. One of the government participants is Knox County, Tenn., which is promoting the event not only internally to its employees, but also externally to citizens and businesses. Communications Director Susanne Dupes said the county's Green Team, a recently started public program, is promoting the event to residents. County commissioners also have been tasked with getting businesses in their districts involved.


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Elaine Pittman  |  Associate Editor

Elaine Pittman is the associate editor for Government Technology, Public CIO and Emergency Management. Before coming to Government Technology, she worked for The Coloradoan daily newspaper in Fort Collins, Colo. She can be reached via email and @elainerpittman on Twitter.