Local governments are succeeding in lowering their information technology (IT) energy costs, according to a survey by Vernon Hills-based CDW Government. However, the survey also found that the recession has forced some agencies to forgo longer-term savings created by energy efficient equipment and choose to buy cheaper but less energy-efficient devices.

Purchasing Energy Star-rated devices and having employees turn off equipment when it is not in use contributed to lower IT energy costs for 56 percent of state and local governments responding to the survey, up from 41 percent in 2008. Respondents estimated that they had saved 16 percent of their IT energy costs, or $368,000 annually, according to the report.

Those savings were realized even though slightly fewer respondents — 35 percent in 2009 as opposed to 39 percent in 2008 — had energy management plans in place.

However, the report found that among IT executives in the public and private sectors, efficiency takes a backseat to cost in purchasing decisions during economically stressful times. "IT executives appear to be caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place," said CDW Vice President Mark Gambill in a statement. "Under extreme budget pressure in a recessionary economy, their No. 1 IT purchasing concern is the current cost of equipment and services, which can put a damper on efforts toward lowering total cost of operations."

View the free report at http://www.cdwg.com/energyefficientIT.

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