Thursday, January 24, 2008

Computer Energy Standard Workshop, 8 February, Sydney

The Australian Greenhouse Office (AGO) is holding a free Labeling Workshop for Computers and Monitors, 8 February 2008 in Sydney. The Australian state and federal governments, along with New Zealand, are considering making the US energy star standards mandatory for computer and monitors sold from October 2009. There is a Fact Sheet and Technical Report available on the proposal.

The new Minimum Energy Performance Standard is intended to apply to corporate, private and government computer purchases, with non-complying products being prohibited. Energy rating labels similar to those on consumer appliances would be attached to computers. Australian federal government agencies are already supposed to purchase “Energy Star” standard computers (as are US Government Agencies) under a 1997 policy on Measures for Improving Energy Efficiency in Commonwealth Operations. However, the policy was not actively promoted in Australia.

The workshop will cover the reasons for energy efficiency standards and labeling, why this should apply to ICT equipment, if the scheme should be voluntary or compulsory, how it could be implemented. A similar workshop was held in 20 December 2007 on energy labelling for televisions.

I will be providing the lunch time talk at the workshop and proposing that a new category of "thin client" desk top computers of 25 Watts or less be added to the standard. Units such as the Zonbu, consume less than 20 Watts, which is far less than the smallest 50 W category in the ENERGY STAR computer specifications V4.0. Use of such devices should be encouraged, as a way to reduce energy use.

The workshop is free and anyone involved in ICT is welcome. RSVP: Dana Domazet, Equipment Energy Efficiency (E3) Team, DEWHA, Email:

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