Microsoft doesn't have a lot of good literature on how to do this, so that's why I am writing this post.
We have users who frequently take their laptops on business trips to do presentations. Having the monitor blank out from inactivity during a long discussion is a frequent complaint. Worse is when the computer goes into standby!
Normally these are great things as it saves the laptop's battery life. But sometimes you just want to turn these options off, or modify them to your liking. Doing so usually requires administrator priveleges. But it SHOULDN'T have to!
To grant the ability to change machine power management settings to your users, simply grant them Full Control (minus take ownership/change permissions) on the following registry key. This can, of course, be deployed through a GPO, too.
Now your users can mess with the power options all they want without bugging you!
I couldn't think of any security reason why this is bad (short of corrupting the registry's stored power settings, but I hardly think that will cause a BSOD or cause any truely bad unrecoverable problem or information disclosure -- maybe just some angry message boxes from Explorer? I haven't tried...)
NOTE: This will NOT affect any sort of screen saver timeout that you have controlled through Group Policy. Those settings can be handled through the Administrative Template in the User Settings. The screen saver policy is more security critical, IMHO, because this is where you can force the screen saver to require a password to unlock the machine.