California regulators are intensifying efforts to wring every possible electron out of common household devices.
>” […] The California Energy Commission just released the latest in a long line of energy-efficiency standards […]. Past targets have included refrigerators, air conditioners, flat-screen televisions, battery chargers and dozens of other appliances and electronic devices.
The commission is writing proposed minimum power consumption standards that it estimates would save 2,702 gigawatt hours a year of electricity. That’s roughly the combined usage of the cities of Long Beach, Anaheim, Huntington Beach and Riverside. Utility customers could shave a total of $430 million off their annual electric bills, or about $20 a year for a household that owns one desktop computer, one laptop and one monitor.
Computers and monitors are among the leading users of energy in California and “spend roughly half their time … on but not being used.” Commissioner Andrew McAllister said.
Boosting efficiency is a good deal, he said. For example, a $2 investment in manufacturing a more power-stingy desktop computer would save $69 over five years, he said.
Electronics manufacturers question the commission’s arithmetic. They prefer voluntary efficiency programs, such as a 2012 manufacturers’ agreement that reduced the energy consumption of cable and satellite television set-top boxes. Consumers saved $168 million in 2013, according to an industry report.
California should let electronics makers develop their own products, said Douglas Johnson, vice president for technology policy for the Consumer Electronics Assn. “We don’t wait for regulations to make products more efficient.”
Aggressive energy-efficiency standards, the commission argues, has helped California keep its per-capital electric power consumption flat for the last 30 years, while the rest of the country’s has seen power use jump 40%. […]”<