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Verdiem Surveyor is a sound investment

Published: Monday, July 16, 2012

Updated: Monday, July 16, 2012 05:07

The USF Information Technology (IT) department may adopt Verdiem’s software product Surveyor. The program would put computers into sleep mode after two hours of idleness during the day and after 45 minutes during the evening.

Since part of the money will come from the pre-existing Student Green Energy Fee (SGEF) fund, and the changes will benefit the university significantly in the long run, the IT department should adopt Verdiem Surveyor or a similar program. According to a report by Verdiem, using Surveyor would decrease the total energy consumption of USF computers by up to 57 percent. Moreover, the decrease in carbon emission that would result because of this program would be equivalent to 2,728 saved trees over a month and a half. Over three years, Surveyor or a similar program would cost a projected $231,220.

Nonetheless, Verdiem’s senior sales engineer, Alex Berkov, said to The Oracle that installing the program would lead to annual savings of over $300,000 in the first three years. Funding for the program would partially come from the SGEF, which students currently pay 0.58 percent per credit hour for. IT has already used part of its $50,000 grant, funded by SGEF, to collect data from 1,200 to 1,500 USF computers. The program has been proven effective elsewhere. In 2010, the city of Spokane in Washington installed the program in 60 locations.

This month, Verdiem released the results of improvements, showing that the council’s energy consumption decreased by 34 percent and the energy costs by about $15,000. Annually, it costs the city of Spokane about $2,800. The very purpose of the student-generated annual $1 million SGEF is to fund projects that will save energy for the university.

According to to USF, the goal of the SGEF is to move toward carbon neutrality by 2070. The fund began in fall 2011 and has since provided $585,725 in funding to save more than 5 million kilowatt-hours annually, according to USF news. Technology is a significant part of any university, but especially at the research-oriented USF. Incorporating energy-saving programs into technology and computers will be of great benefit to the university and should be one of the more enthusiastic endeavors, especially because of technology’s widespread presence and usage across USF campuses. Since the costs would be partially covered by a pre-existing fund, the installation of Surveyor will reap long-term benefits to both the university and its students. 

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