July 28, 2016   

Contact: Sage Welch, 415-453-4530

State efficiency standards for computers and monitors set stage for energy innovation in electronics  
 Broad coalition urges the CEC to adopt a strong, effective standard to deliver consumer savings

Sacramento, Calif. – A diverse collection of business associations, school districts, consumer voices, environmental and equity advocates, community leaders and other stakeholders are urging the California Energy Commission (CEC) to keep consumers in mind as they move to finalize first-in-the-nation energy efficiency standards for computers and monitors.

Supporters and partners of the California Delivers campaign representing communities with a stake in energy innovation have united to voice concern over decades of unchecked energy waste from inefficient electronics. Advocates are calling on the CEC to deliver a strong standard that will stand the test of time in the rapidly advancing computing sector. For the full range of benefits to flow to consumers, stakeholders urge the CEC to set strong standards, including emerging technologies that may have a low market share today, but will be mainstream by the time the standards take effect.

Statements from California Delivers supporters: 

Kirsten James, Senior Manager, California Policy and Partnerships, Ceres
“Businesses across the state of California and the U.S. are committed to becoming more sustainable, but they can only do so much on their own. The electronics and computing industries are among the most innovative in the world, and with the right policies they can turn that innovation towards meeting robust energy efficiency standards and creating products that save consumers money.  We look forward to a strong standard from the CEC that helps improve the sustainability of companies small and large.”

Stephanie Chen, Energy & Telecommunications Policy Director, The Greenlining Institute
“Access to cost-effective computing technology is a great equalizer. The Greenlining Institute urges the CEC to consider the needs of low-income households as they move forward with this standard. Low-income households often spend a higher proportion of their income on electricity costs and are more likely to own older, inefficient models of desktop computers. Low-income families deserve efficient technologies in the future, and we hope that’s exactly what this standard will deliver.”

Steve Frisch, President, Sierra Business Council
“Of the 4,000 network members of the Sierra Business Council, 80 percent are small businesses that are constantly searching for ways to improve the energy efficiency of their offices. Small businesses want to save energy, sure, but they need to save money. That’s why our members are watching closely for energy efficiency standards that will contribute to their bottom line, no matter what model they choose.”

Joe Ridout, California Legislative Coordinator, Consumer Action 
“It’s time for computer manufacturers to address the issue of unnecessary energy consumption, and we applaud the state’s move to apply standards. Urgency on this issue keeps growing, as the energy consumption of personal electronic devices continues to proliferate. After extensive negotiations, we look forward to the state implementing a standard that raises the bar on energy efficiency and saves consumers money.”

Pierre Delforge, Director of High-Tech Sector Energy Efficiency, Natural Resources Defense Council 
“Millions of computers are sold in California every year – in homes, schools, universities, and hospitals. Unfortunately, they devour far more energy than necessary, most of it wasted when no one is actively using them. Cutting computer energy use by just 30 percent, which the California Energy Commission proposed earlier this year, could avoid 800,000 metric tons of pollution in the state every year and, if embraced at the national level, would slash the nation’s electric bill by $3 billion.”

Statements from other partners and allies:
Mark Cooper, Director of Research, Consumer Federation of America
“Consumer Federation of America research has shown that the rapid spread of digital devices is increasing household energy consumption every year, and consumers simply cannot afford to continue to foot the bill for inefficient computers and monitors. After years of consideration, we look forward to a standard that accounts for shifting technology and maintains the $400 million per year in consumer savings that the CEC has estimated. Consumer Federation of America analysis of the proposed standard shows that the benefits of computer energy efficiency far outweigh the costs.”

Anna Ferrera, Executive Director & Legislative Advocate, School Energy Coalition
“As bulk purchasers of desktop computers for California’s students, school districts are a primary stakeholder on issues surrounding computer energy efficiency.  K-12 schools seek to provide technological learning opportunities for our state’s future workforce so long as the state provides the means to do so affordably.  We support a CEC standard that assists schools in addressing on-going funding challenges and spends taxpayer dollars wisely through the use of more energy efficient computers for years to come.”

For more information, see NRDC’s new report “Slashing Energy Use in Computers and Monitors While Protecting Our Wallets, Health, and Planet” here.