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Tighten the belt in 2009

A weekly solution to a problem that affects your bottom line.

Problem: Your older-model computer sucks up electricity.

Solution: Energy-management software lets you put your computer on a schedule to reduce the amount of electricity it uses.

Verdiem, a Seattle-based company that makes energy-management computer software for businesses, recently released a consumer-grade version of its software called Edison. The free software lets you set your computer on working and non-working schedules. It also provides estimated savings reports that show how much carbon dioxide has been saved. It works on computers running Windows XP and Vista. (www.verdiem.com)

The Environmental Protection Agency (www.energystar.gov) also has a free energy-management program called EZ Wizard for computers running Windows 2000 or Windows XP. Google Desktop users can download a free plug-in called Energy Saver that works on Windows XP and Vista, but to use it, you must first download Google Desktop at www.desktop.google.com/plugins.

Wall Street Journal

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