Governors Announce Computer Energy Efficiency Partnership

On Nov. 7, the National Governors Association (NGA) announced a clean energy partnership between the NGA's Initiative Securing a Clean Energy Future (SCEF) and the Climate Savers Computing Initiative (CSCI), founded by Google and Intel, to spur deployment of more energy efficient computers and servers in state offices and agencies.

"The average desktop PC currently wastes half of the power it receives," said Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, head of the NGA. "Having states increase the energy efficiency of their computing equipment will save consumers and taxpayers money, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. This is another great opportunity where states can help lead the way to a more clean and secure energy future."

By joining forces, these groups estimate that states can achieve up to a 50 percent reduction in current energy consumption from state-owned computing equipment over the next four years.

Under the terms of the agreement, these states have committed to reducing energy consumption from a majority of their computing equipment by:

  • Pledging to purchase high-efficiency computer equipment that meets or exceeds federal Energy Star ratings.
  • Optimizing existing computer systems by educating employees about more efficient and effective computer power management strategies, such as better using hibernation and sleep modes.
  • Ensuring in subsequent years states purchase computing equipment with increasing levels of efficiency.

In a typical desktop PC, nearly half the power coming from the outlet never reaches the processor, memory, disks or any other computing components. The wasted electricity is dispersed as heat and increases the cost of powering a computer. In offices, homes and data centers, the added heat from inefficient computers can increase the demand on air conditioners and cooling systems, making the computing equipment even more expensive to run. Servers are more efficient than desktops, but still typically waste 30 percent to 40 percent of the input power.

Additional energy is often sacrificed because of poor power management settings. Even though most of today's desktop PCs are capable of automatically transitioning to a sleep or hibernate state when inactive, about 90 percent of systems have this functionality disabled.

Launched in July, NGA's SCEF Initiative enlists the efforts of all governors to enact meaningful clean energy policies at the state level. Under the initiative, NGA will develop and distribute a number of tools -- including guides, reports, regional workshops and national summits -- to help governors understand the specific energy challenges in their states and implement policy solutions that address these challenges. The initiative specifically emphasizes the role of public-private partnerships -- such as this agreement with CSCI ? to generate increased use of clean energy and advanced energy technologies.

CSCI, an initiative started by Google and Intel, brings together manufacturers, businesses, organizations and individuals to significantly increase the energy efficiency of computers and servers.

For more information about the SCEF Initiative visit www.nga.org/ci. For more information about CSCI, visit www.climatesaverscomputing.org.

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