EPA boosts global energy efficiency

The global market for energy-efficient products has been given a boost following a move by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to raise the bar on its requirements.

Computer monitors will now have to meet more energy efficiency requirements in order to qualify for the Energy Star label, following changes to legislation by the EPA.

For the first time, the specifications will now address energy consumption while the monitors are in use, as well as when they are idle. Previously, energy saving functions were only required while the monitors were in “sleep” mode.

By 2010, the EPA estimates that the new requirements will result in carbon emission savings of around five million metric tonnes. That is the equivalent of taking more than three million cars off the road.

As part of an existing agreement, the European Union will also update its own specifications to reflect this revision to Energy Star. This modification is the EPA’s first attempt to coordinate a specification revision with the EU under the context of this agreement.

The success of this revision process so far has set a positive precedent for additional specification updates for printers, scanners, photocopiers, fax machines, computers and other office equipment.

By Jane Kettle

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