Friday, September 26, 2008

Personal Computer and Monitors Energy Efficiency Strategy

The Personal Computer and Monitors Energy Efficiency Strategy, was prepared at the request of the Australian Environment Department. It recommends a 50% reduction in computer energy use by 2020, using voluntary industry programs, mandatory use by Government, and web education programs. The report has been mentioned in "Government Should Adopt US Energy Scheme" (Sue Bushell, CIO Magazine, 18 September 2008) and "Call to cut to the core" (Simon Grose, Canberra Times newspaper, September 22, 2008).

The purpose of this document is to propose a strategy for the Australian ICT industry, in conjunction with government, to improve the energy efficiency of PCs and Monitors in Australia.

This strategy proposes voluntary use of the US EPA Energy Star program by the Australian ICT industry and web based industry and consumer education programs on energy efficiency. It is proposed that Australian federal and state governments encourage this voluntary program by government purchasing Energy Star products and by government using the web based information in product selection. While the program would be voluntary, those companies which did not offer Energy Star rated products and did not provide details of them on the web would be excluded from government tenders.

It is proposed that industry work with government on consumer and professional education on sustainability, using the Internet as a delivery mechanism. International initiatives on ICT energy efficiency should be encouraged in Australia, along with locally developed programs. A government sponsored free e-learning package for universities and professional bodies to train ICT professionals in sustainability is proposed.

It is proposed that Australia set a target of a 50% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ICT by 2020. This will contribute a 1% overall reduction in Australia's greenhouse gas emissions.


  1. Mandatory Energy Efficiency in Government Procurement: Require Energy Star conformance for federal government procurement and for federally funded programs, such as computers in schools. Use a simplified version of US Government procedures. Require energy efficiency product specifications to be on the web in the standard format.

  2. Develop Sustainable ICT E-learning Modules: Sponsor a free e-learning package for universities and professional bodies to train ICT professionals in sustainability. Focus the content on energy efficiency and draw on case studies of real world energy saving projects.

  3. Audit ICT Energy Use Annually: Demonstrate the efficacy of ICT energy saving by regular audits of ICT energy use. Develop an annual ICT energy audit, based on previous ICT audit and analysis used for greening whitegoods.

  4. Voluntary Energy Star Standard for Industry: Adopt the US Energy Star Program as the basis of a voluntary standard for efficient PCs and monitors.

  5. Standard Web Format for Environmental Product Data: Develop a standard format to display energy efficiency data and other environmental data on the web, suitable for both consumers and corporate users. In Australia. Propose the format as an international standard.

  6. Promotion and Market Information, Finding Shared Incentives: Promote and support energy saving to consumers. Encourage international consortia to expand their programs to Australia. Encourage the ICT industry to support local initiatives.

Next Steps for Industry and Government

  1. Decide which measures to adopt

  2. Cost and schedule the measures

From: Executive Summary, Personal Computer and Monitors Energy Efficiency Strategy, Report and Recommended Plan of Action, Tom Worthington, Version 1.0 of 23 September 2008

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