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Climate Savers launches in NZ

01 Oct 08

The Climate Savers Smart Computing Program, initiated by Intel and Google in North America in 2007, has come to New Zealand, and is designed to increase energy efficiency of new PCs and servers and to promote the use of power management. The board of directors comprises representatives from Intel, EDS, Google, HP, Lenovo, Microsoft, PG&E, and the World Wildlife Fund.
The industry-wide, not-for-profit initiative is seeking to achieve a 50% improvement in global computer energy efficiency by 2010. According to Intel, such an improvement would result in US $5.5 billion in aggregate global energy savings and reduction of global CO2 emissions from computing platforms by 54 million tonnes per year.
The initiative focuses on two key areas, said Sean Casey, ANZ Business Development Manager for Intel. Firstly, there are a large number desktop and laptop computers in use that do not have power management enabled. The initiative aims to create awareness for home and business users around automated power saving options on their machines. Secondly, Climate Savers directs its attention on promoting efficient power supplies, as 50% of energy used to run a computer is lost in heat. Desktops then lose further energy on A/C in an effort to control that heat.
“We’re creating a roadmap around power supply efficiencies. As of July, Climate Savers raised the bar to look for and recommend power supplies with 85% efficiency,” Casey stated. “There are premiums for some of the more efficient power supplies today. The goal is to drive up the demand to lower the cost. It will feed upon itself.”
Casey believes the New Zealand market will be particularly receptive to Climate Savers, and said, “you’ll get the money back in energy savings anyway”.
Several competing vendors are involved in the program, which Casey claims in unsurprising: “The global IT industry is getting behind this”. Climate Savers Smart Computing Program costs nothing to join, and is open to individuals, governments and businesses. The initiative’s energy efficiency benchmarks initially follow the EPA’s Energy Star 4.0 guidelines, which require the PSU to be 80% efficient or better. For volume servers, the initiative requires the PSU to be at least 85% efficient, with a power factor of 0.9 or better at 100% rate loaded. Members also must agree to broadly enable power management on new and existing PCs and laptops.
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