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10/23/2006
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EPA Tightens Up Power Specs For PCs

The Environmental Protection Agency estimated the new Energy Star specs could save U.S. households and businesses more than $1.8 billion in energy costs over the next five years.

GREAT NECK, N.Y. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Tuesday (Oct 24) the first update in seven years to its Energy Star program for power saving PCs. On average, the revised requirements for the Energy Star program will require PCs to be 65 percent more power efficient than current models.

The new requirements call for improved efficiency across all modes of a computer's operation. The specifications mandate more efficient internal and external power supplies for PCs that want to get an Energy Star logo.

The EPA estimated the new specs could save U.S. households and businesses more than $1.8 billion in energy costs over the next five years and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equal to the annual emissions of 2.7 million cars.

The newly published Version 4.0. Tier 1 specification for computers will go into effect on July 20, 2007. It will replace the Version 3.0, Tier 2 specification that has been in effect since July 2000.

Intel Corp. and other companies were quick to announce they will provide desktop and laptop products to support the new Energy Star requirements in time for the July 2007 roll out. Intel also said it will work with the EPA to hammer out a simplified program aimed at helping unbranded PC assemblers qualify for the logo.

"Intel continues to work closely with the EPA and other worldwide organizations to develop and deliver energy-efficient technologies," said Rob Crooke, Intel vice president and business computing group general manager, in a prepared statement. "The new ENERGY STAR specification provides a meaningful step forward in identifying more energy-efficient PCs," he added.

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