Replacement of CRT Computer Monitors

Project Partner: Oberlin Technology Store

In December of 2009, the Green EDGE Fund approved a sustainability grant to replace old, inefficient CRT monitors still in use in research laboratories with efficient, ENERGY STAR LCD monitors. The project proposal was developed by Walt Owens of the Oberlin Technology Store, and the project is the EDGE Fund's first collaboration with the Technology Store.

Background premise:
CRT monitors are an outdated and inefficient technology. While Oberlin College has systematically replaced CRT monitors throughout campus computer labs, some departments have retained lone CRT monitors in laboratories for data display. Replacing these outdated and inefficient monitors with ENERGY STAR LCD monitors will produce substantial energy savings. The purchased LCD monitors are 70% more efficient than the old CRTs; thus, even though laboratory computers have highly variable use patterns, we anticipate this project will produce substantial energy and carbon savings.

Cost-benefit estimation:
This project is a joint venture between the Oberlin Technology Store, academic departments, and the Green EDGE Fund. Costs will be split evenly between these partners, allowing each partner to significantly leverage their limited funding. Specifically, the EDGE Fund will provide $50.00, 1/3 of the unit cost, for each new LCD monitor. Unfortunately, the existing CRT monitors are housed in laboratories scattered across campus; thus, the EDGE Fund was unable to access each monitor to measure its current energy use. As a result, we were unable to provide a justifiable estimate of the project's monetary and resource savings. Regardless, because of the 70% efficiency improvement achieved by the LCD monitors relative to the CRT monitors, we expect this project to result in significant, albeit unquantifiable, energy and resource savings.

Additional benefits:
A significant additional benefit is the improved display provided by the LCD monitor. Because these monitors will be used for data display, improved display quality is a substantial benefit for the computer's users.