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. (

The Environmental Protection Agency ( 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

Wall Street Journal