" + text + "

"); mydoc.close(); } //-->

Peripherals & Other Equipment

Home > THE BASICS> ICT Options > Other Equipment

On this page.....

Multi-function (all-in-one) devices are machines that support two or more of the functions described above, such as fax machines that also make photocopies, or combined printer/copier/fax machines.

The power consumption of devices in this category varies greatly by capacity and speed of printing/copying, type of technology and quality of output. As a general rule, ink jet printers typically consume significantly less energy than laser jet printers. Kawamoto et al (Ref) reported stock-wide average power consumption of 17 W for ink jet printers compared to 30 W for residential laser printers and 77 W for commercial laser printers. As with all consumer ICT devices, one must check the power consumption specifications for each particular model. See the ICT Power Consumption Reference Tables for more details.

While ink jet printers are generally recommended for their low energy consumption compared to laser jets, the costs of purchasing paper and ink may subtract from energy-related cost savings. The ink costs per page for popular ink jet printers often range from $0.02 to $0.07 for black and white documents and $0.07 to $0.13 for color printouts (Ref). Typical ink costs for mid-range laser printers are closer to $0.015 to $0.02 for black and white documents. Color laser jet printouts can still reach $0.08 to $0.12 per page (Ref). Paper costs are extra, as is the cost of printing items that use a greater amount of ink, such as photographs. Similarly, dot matrix printers may offer significant savings in the operating costs of printing while requiring slightly greater levels of power than inkjet printers.

A common feature of printing and multifunction devices is the relatively large gap between average and peak power consumption. For example, Winrock monitored the power consumption of an HP LaserJet IIISi printer at Winrock offices over a 4-hour period during normal working hours. During standby periods – the mode in which the printer is ready to print without noticeable delay – power consumption was only about 46 W. However, the peak power during the printing cycle reached 900 W. Small induction motors geared to supply a constant source of electricity may have difficulty supplying the peak power levels for high-performance laser printers and multifunction devices.


Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) are recommended for off-grid projects for both indoor and outdoor lighting, given their superior efficiency and longevity over incandescent lights. CFLs are increasingly available in developing regions, particularly where solar home systems have been installed in large quantities. Typical lamps available include 9 W, 11 W and 15 W, with lumen (illumination) equivalencies of 25 W, 40 W, 60 W incandescent bulbs, respectively. A useful feature of CFLs, when compared to standard fluourescents, is that the former can be screwed into the sockets of traditional incandescent light bulbs. Light emitting diodes (LEDs) are also a rapidly improving lighting option for off-grid use, offering improved durability and high energy efficiency.

Winrock recommends 15 W CFLs for indoor lighting, and 9 W lamps for outdoor safety lighting, based on field experience that suggests these provide appropriate levels of illumination for their respective uses. While CFLs are several times as expensive as incandescents, their lifetimes (typical rating is 10,000 hours) outweigh the cost differential, and offer significant energy cost savings. It is important, however, to ensure that ICT facility operators are conscious of the reasons for using efficient lighting, and are prepared to replace the fluorescent lamps appropriately.


Fans are commonly found in rural facilities to promote cooling for both people and electronic systems. Small desk fans typically consume 20-40 W. Larger floor-standing fans and ceiling fans may consume 60-100 W. There are small clamp-on units that can serve one user at a time that consume approximately 15 W.

Automated Shut-off Devices

There are a number of hardware devices that can reduce electricity consumption by automatically shutting off computer monitors, laser printers, lights and other electrical devices. Devices can be shut off using a simple timer, or monitored in a more intelligent manner to detect when they have remained unused for a predetermined amount of time. These devices offer the advantage of reducing energy consumption without regular human intervention. If ensuring compliance with ICT shutdown policies is a serious problem for a particular off-grid facility, program managers may find these devices to be worth the cost. Due to differences in mains power voltage, frequency and plug configurations, the selection and availability of such energy saving devices will vary by country. Check with your local power supply or electronics retailer for information on locally available products.

Related Web-based Resources

The following companies provide products that monitor and manage electricity loads. These web sites are listed for informational purposes only as to the types of products in existence, and in no way constitutes an endorsement, expressed or implied, by the authors of this toolkit.