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California approves first US energy efficiency standards for computers


California became the first state in the US to approve energy efficiency requirements for laptops, desktops, and monitors today, in a change that could ultimately impact computers’ energy efficiency across the country.

The new standards, approved by California’s Energy Commission, require most computers to draw less power while idle. Laptops are only required to see a slight reduction in power draw, since they’re already designed to be energy efficient; the commission estimates that 73 percent of shipping laptops won’t need any sort of change.

But only around 6 percent of desktops currently meet the commission’s standards. On average, noncompliant desktops will have to reduce their idle power draw by about 30 percent by 2019 and by about 50 percent by 2021, the commission says.

When fully implemented, the annual energy reductions are expected to equal the annual energy consumption of every home in San Francisco, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. The reductions are also supposed to prevent 730,000 tons of carbon pollution that would otherwise have been emitted by power plants.

The NRDC called the standards a “a significant milestone in reducing a large power use in our homes, businesses and schools.”
It also expects the standards to have a national impact. Because California is so large — it is by far the nation’s most populous state — it’s likely that computer manufacturers will opt to sell many of these power-efficient devices across the US, rather than maintaining an entirely separate line just for California.

The article was published on : theverge

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