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Governors announce energy efficiency push for computing

Governors announce energy efficiency push for computing

Governors announce energy efficiency push for computing
November 7, 2007

The National Governors Association (NGA) today announced a clean energy partnership between the NGA Chair’s Initiative Securing a Clean Energy Future (SCEF) and the Climate Savers Computing Initiative (CSCI), founded by Google and Intel, to foster 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 NGA Chair Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty. “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 believe states can achieve up to a 50 percent reduction in current energy consumption from state-owned computing equipment over the next four years. Minnesota and Kansas will be the first states to participate in the initiative which will seek to reduce energy consumption from their computing equipment by:

Pledging to purchase high-efficiency computer equipment that meets or exceeds federal ENERGY STAR ratings;

In June 2007 Google announced the Climate Savers Computing initiative to improve computing energy-efficiency standards.

Optimizing existing computer systems by educating employees about more efficient and effective computer power management strategies, such as better using hibernation and sleep modes; and

Ensuring in subsequent years states purchase computing equipment with increasing levels of efficiency.

“State governments across the country use significant amounts of computer equipment,” said SCEF co-chair Govonor Sebelius of Kansas. “By taking actions to reduce the energy demands of our own equipment, we can effectively leverage the purchasing power of states to achieve improvements in our energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction efforts.”

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, as well as the emission of greenhouse gases. 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 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.

Bill Weihl, Co-Chairman of the CSCI Board of Directors and Google’s Green Energy Czar, commented on the impact states can bring to the effort: “By implementing the Climate Savers Computing Initiative purchase and use criteria, states will achieve significant reductions in their own computing energy consumption. More importantly, their actions will provide leadership for residents and local businesses looking to implement effective emission reduction policies. We’re very excited to be working with NGA on this program.”

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. CSCI is led by representatives from nine Board of Director companies, including NGA Corporate Fellows Dell Inc.; Electronic Data Systems Corporation; Hewlett-Packard Company; Intel Corporation; and Microsoft Corporation. NGA Corporate Fellow Unisys serves as an Associate member of the initiative.

For more information about the SCEF Initiative visit

This is a modified version of a news release from the National Governors Association

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