No, I’m not talking about the band. I’m talking about August 27, “Power IT Down Day.”

Citrix, HP, and Intel have banded together to ask government and industry IT users to make a little change to their work habits on that day: when you leave work for the day, turn off your PCs, monitors and printers. (And unplug the transformers from the wall, too – no sense in letting them sit there even converting a little bit of power to keep devices in standby.)

We’re underscoring putting our money where our press release is by donating our savings to the American Red Cross of the National Capital area – putting our power savings to use bringing resources to those who might need them in an emergency.

The potential for power savings goes beyond the power switch, of course. I visited a major Web 2.0 cloud the other day – I’m not naming names, but if you have 16-year-olds (or are one), it’s a web-place they’re likely to hang out a lot. Their service is powered by XenServer – all 4,000 servers of it.

Can you think of a more critical workload than the entire user-facing end of a Web 2.0 service? (Maybe you’d have a few more favorite candidates, but your 16-year-old probably doesn’t.) The levels of consolidation achieved, and the savings from dynamically deploying servers only when the load requires it, is driving power reductions that can power a small town. A real one, that is, not a virtual-reality one.