Original Article

Energy Efficiency

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 425-431

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Laptop energy-saving opportunities based on user behaviors

  • Morris E. JonesJr.Affiliated withCollege of Engineering, San José State University
  • , Belle W. Y. WeiAffiliated withAcademic Affairs Division, Chico State University Email author 
  • , Donald L. HungAffiliated withCollege of Engineering, San José State University


In order to improve the energy efficiency of laptop use and design, it is important to gain knowledge of how laptops are being used in real-world settings. However, the current workload studies have focused on computer-usage patterns of business users, but not those of consumer users. As part of the u!Green project at ABC University, a pilot study was undertaken to develop and test software tools and methods for monitoring the laptop computer usage of 13 college students for a period of 1 month. This paper describes such tools and methods for monitoring and collecting laptop usage data. It also illustrates how the collected data can be analyzed to obtain high-impact energy usage patterns, which include long idle periods, excessive use of the AC power source, and high backlight levels. These identified high-impact usage patterns, if confirmed by our subsequent study, offer valuable user behavioral insights to advance more energy-efficient laptop use and design.


Laptop energy efficiency Laptop usage data Computer usage monitoring Computer usage data Laptop user behaviors