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California to Regulate Energy ­se of Desktop Computers and Monitors

Will these computers meet the new standards?

On Wednesday, California approved new regulations for energy efficiency in desktop computers and monitors.

Credit: Santiago Mejia/The New York Times

The California Energy Commission on Wednesday agreed to pass new regulations for energy efficiency in desktop computers and monitors; the rules are the U.S.'s first attempt to regulate the energy use of desktop computers.

The standards would cut carbon dioxide emissions by about 730,000 tons, less than 1 percent of total statewide emissions, and save consumers about $370 million on electric bills a year.

The measures include improving the devices' power supply so they save energy when operational.

The energy commission forecasts the standards will save about as much electricity as 350,000 households use in 12 months.

State officials say the new rules mark an important step in California's role to combat climate change, with Gov. Jerry Brown vowing to slash the state's emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. California is the most populous state, which means the new standards could become a model for the entire U.S., and perhaps the global market.

About 6 percent of desktops and 14 percent of monitors currently comply with the standards, and the commission expects the eventual replacement of all currently used computers and monitors in California.

National adoption would lead to average savings of about $3 billion on consumers' electricity bills, and would eliminate about 14 million metric tons of carbon pollution yearly, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.

From The New York Times
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