Parametrize

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Quality of service (QoS) is a set of properties that reflect the user experience. These properties include amongst others availability, reliability and performance. To achieve a high quality of service usually more energy has to be consumed as opposed to a low quality of service.

By reducing the availability of a system from 99.999% to 99.9% can mean there is need for less redundant servers which saves a lot of energy. On other quality properties energy can be saved as well by reducing them, like reliability and performance.

Implementations

The Green framework, developed at Microsoft, has been developed to reduce QoS while guaranteeing a certain level of QoS. It is an example of how the execution of an algorithm can be cut short to increase the energy efficiency at the cost of quality. This framework allows any programmer to make the trade-off happen at runtime.

References

The paper on the Green Framework: http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/people/trishulc/papers/green.pdf

Energy Consumption Reduction with Low Computational Needs in Multicore Systems with Energy-Performance Tradeoff http://www.nt.ntnu.no/users/skoge/prost/proceedings/cdc09/data/papers/2817.pdf

Sources

This best practice was recognized as such by IT professionals, described in Energy efficient software.
This best practice is mentioned in:
Baek, W. & Chilimbi, T. M. 2010. Green: a framework for supporting energy-conscious programming using controlled approximation. SIGPLAN Not., ACM, 45, p. 198-209

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