Many of us routinely use screen savers thinking we are doing a good thing not only to save energy but to save the life of our computer monitors as well. According to energystar.gov this is not necessarily true. Screen savers are often filled with graphics which may cause your computer to burn twice the energy. The screen saver also can prevent the computer from going into “sleep” mode. Initially, screen savers were developed to prevent permanent etching of patterns on monitors but are no longer necessary due to technological advances and now are for entertainment only.
A website called techsoup.org offers an alternative. They suggest that you turn on the power management feature that is already an option in most computers. This will enable your monitor to turn off automatically, or, after a period of inactivity it will put it into a sleep mode. For a PDF with step-by-step instructions go to: http://www.climatesaverscomputing.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Power_management_instructions.pdf