Monday, March 24, 2008


MONDAY, MARCH 24, 2008
Wil Alston, 303-917-8059 (cell)
Q1.            What is the Climate Savers Computing Initiative?
A.        Started in June 2007, the Climate Savers Computing Initiative is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting smart technologies that can improve the power efficiency and reduce the energy consumption of computers.
            Participating manufacturers commit to producing products that meet specified power-efficiency targets, and members commit to purchasing power-efficient computing products.
            The average desktop PC wastes nearly half the power delivered to it. With your help, this effort will lead to a 50% reduction in power consumption by computers by 2010, and committed participants could collectively save $5.5 billion in energy costs.
Q2.            Who is involved in the Climate Savers Computing Initiative?
A.        Intel and Google founded the Initiative, and the list of members is a veritable who's who of the computing industry, as well as leading companies such as Starbucks, universities such as the University of Michigan and MIT, and NGOs such as the World Wildlife Fund. New members are joining every day.
Q3.            How do businesses/governments participate in this program?
A.        There are several ways businesses participate in Climate Savers:
·        Participating businesses and government agencies are asked to commit to purchasing energy-efficient PCs and servers for the majority of their enterprise and employee computer (servers and desktops) needs. They also commit to use up-to-date power management software on all systems.
·        Computer and component manufacturers commit to develop products that meet or exceed the efficiency standards for each year.
·        Environmental and consumer organizations commit to educating end-users about the benefits of energy-efficient computers and power-management tools for home use.
·        Energy companies commit to providing rebate programs for purchasers of products that meet or exceed the efficiency standards.
Q4.            How many companies and individual consumers have joined the Alliance?
A.        While it's still early in the development of this program, we already have more than 170 companies and thousands of individuals in the program. Colorado joins Minnesota, Kansas, and Oregon as states participating in CSCI.  This is great momentum and we're committed to recruiting more and more governments, businesses and consumers to help us combat global warming in the weeks, months, and years to come.
Q5.            How much does it cost to participate in the Alliance?
A.        Individuals and enterprises are invited to join for free as long as they pledge their support to use power management and/or purchase energy-efficient systems.
Q6.            States and companies that join are committing to purchase energy efficient computers. How are these commitments enforced?
A.        Member companies are responsible for reporting the number of computers they purchase. In addition, a percentage of companies may be audited by an independent auditor.
Q7.            How will you measure success?
A.        Our success will be measured by the number of enterprises and individuals who have joined the program, the broad use of power management, the number of Initiative-compliant systems available on the market, and the percentage of all system sales that are energy-efficient.
Q8.            How is this program different than the EPA's Energy Star 4.0 program?
A.        The Climate Savers Computing Initiative builds on the great work of the EPA's Energy Star program, and in fact our first year targets are the same as the EPA's. After the first year, however, the Climate Savers Computing Initiative's energy efficiency benchmarks become increasingly aggressive with each year.
Q9.            Is this program international?
A.        Yes, we have several international member companies already and expect many companies around the world to join. We have established international subgroups to focus on key markets including Japan, Europe, China and Taiwan.  
Statistics Q&As
Q10.        How did you get to the emissions calculations?
A.        The source for 54 million tons of CO2 was Intel/Google calculations on potential energy savings, which we said would be about 71B kwhrs. through 2011 if we impacted as many PCs as we hope.  This was turned  to CO2 by combining withU.S. average of 1.5 lbs. CO2 per kwh of electricity (U.S. Energy Information Administration). The 11 million cars figure comes from U.S. EPA assumptions that an "average" car travels 10,000 miles per year and gets 20 mpg. This translates to roughly 5 tons CO2 per year per car. Figures on coal fired power plants come from U.S. Department of Energy. Plant sizes and CO2 emissions vary widely, so figures were based on a 500MW size facility. A range of 10-20 such plants was developed by looking at the high and low CO2 emitters among 500MW facilities for 2002.
Q11.        How did you get to the $5.5b in energy savings?
A.        We assumed 8.5c per kwh cost, which is an approximate U.S. average.  The numbers actually equal about $6B, so we made a conservative estimate here.
Q12.        How will the program tabulate the savings?
A.        System manufacturers will be responsible for measuring and reporting efficiency on their own systems. We may have a third party certification program, possibly associated with utility company rebates, and we expect consumer organizations to verify manufacturers' claims in their test reports. The Initiative can also, at its discretion, conduct tests on products that are listed or labeled as qualifying products to validate the claim.
Q13.        How did you calculate the savings goals?
A.        The anticipated reduction in emissions were calculated based on IDC projections for server and desktop volumes in the years 2007-2011, using a baseline of 295 kWh/year energy consumption for a typical desktop in the first half of 2007, and assuming a market penetration of 60% of desktops in 2010 being Energy Star, 25% meeting the 85% PSU efficiency standard, 10% meeting the 88% standard and 5% meeting the 90% standard. It also assumes 80% of desktops in 2010 will utilize power management features. Under these assumptions, total power consumed by PCs would actually be reduced by 50%, for a total savings of 62 kWh in 2010, worth over $5.5 billion (at an average cost of $.0885/kWh).
Q14.        How will you achieve a 50% reduction in computer power consumption? Is that estimate for new computers shipped only, or all systems in use?
A.        This is an estimate based on new computers expected to ship between July 2007 and July 2011. Additional savings can be achieved if supporters utilize power management settings on existing computers.
System Availability & Cost Q&As
Q15.        Can states, companies, and consumers buy computers today that meet your higher efficiency standards? If not when will these systems be available?
A.        Yes, there are a number of systems that already meet the 2007–2008 targets. A list of Energy Star 4.0-compliant systems is available at It's worth mentioning that most new laptop computers today already meet these energy efficiency standards.
Q16.        Do you expect energy efficient systems to be adopted in emerging markets?
A.        Our goal is to make energy efficient systems so pervasive that the price premium drops to zero. While initial adoption will likely be more prevalent in advanced markets, in time our goal is for energy efficient systems to become the norm everywhere.
Q17.        What is the expected premium for more efficient systems?
A.        Initially, high efficiency systems may cost slightly more than standard systems. Early expectations for premiums are $20 for PCs and $30 for servers, although there is data that some vendors are offering Energy Star 4.0 PCs at no premium. We are confident that as unit volumes increase, the premium will come down to near zero. And even at moderately higher cost, more efficient systems pay for themselves in reduced energy and air conditioning costs.
Technical Q&As
Q18.        How is "computer efficiency" measured?
A.        Efficiency of power supplies will be measured using the same protocol as the EPA's Energy Star 4.0 specification. You can find more detailed information on the specifics of our measurement requirements online We're also considering creating a third-party certification program.
Q19.        How will you measure motherboard efficiency?
A.        We have established a technical workgroup to develop an industry-standard mechanism for motherboard efficiency measurement.  Introduction of motherboard efficiency targets will begin in year two of the program.
Q20.        Are blade servers included in the Initiative?
A.        Today, the program is focused on client and volume server systems, where the largest opportunity for power savings exists. By nature of the design requirements of blade server systems, many of the power delivery components in these systems already achieve high levels of efficiency.
Q21.        Are laptops included in the Initiative?
A.        Because extended battery life is a high priority among laptop users, most new laptops already meet the Energy Star 4.0 specification and utilize power management capabilities. We encourage laptop users to join the Initiative and continue using power management (or enable it if they haven't already), and we recommend laptops as a great option for new system buyers who are concerned with energy efficiency.
Q22.        What are the energy savings of a new, Climate Savers Computing-compliant PC, vs. just turning power management on for your existing PC?
A.        Depending on usage conditions, by utilizing power management settings, a user can reduce energy consumption by over 60% on an existing computer by simply turning on power management settings (for example, going into Standby mode after 30 minutes.)  A Climate Savers compliant PC will combine highly efficient components, as well as power management. The result is that a fully Climate Savers Computing Compliant PC's can reduce power consumption by almost 80%.
Q23.        What happens if someone turns power management off?
A.        Unfortunately, it's easy for users to turn power management off while they are working on a specific task, and forget to turn it back on afterward – which is part of why an estimated 90 percent of desktop users don't use power management. One of the goals of our program is to increase the use of power management both by encouraging system vendors to ship their systems with power management already enabled, and by educating users and offering tools that make it easier to use (and keep using) power management.
Q24.        What about other components like monitors?
A.        Power management software can help make monitors more efficient by powering them down or shutting them off completely when not in use.  For this reason, encouraging the development of new power management software and educating consumers and business users on its use is part of our focus.
Member Companies
Q25.        How are you going to bring in the average American company?
A.        We think every company and individual computer owner or prospective owner in the world should be a part of the Climate Savers Computing Initiative. We expect companies to respond when they see the potential ROI gains they can get with energy efficient systems, which typically pay for themselves in 1-3 years. As more people and companies become aware of the program, and as more energy efficient systems become available at increasingly lower price points, we believe our numbers will continue to grow.
Q26.        Which utilities are involved and why?
A.        Pacific Gas & Electric is the first utility to join the program, and we expect many more to join in the coming months.  The unique participation by utilities will help create rebate programs for manufacturers and end users of Climate Savers computing platforms.
Q27.        What was the genesis of this initiative?
A.        Back in the summer of 2006, Google presented a paper on power supply efficiency at the Intel Developer Summit. From there, Intel and Google began to discuss ways to get others to look to achieve the energy savings Google has realized and to improve computer energy efficiency even more. After months of discussions with companies around the world, we settled on the goals of the Initiative and launched the program in June 2007.
Q28.        Aren't Google and Microsoft/AMD & Intel/HP and Lenovo/etc. competitors? Why are you working together on Climate Savers Computing? 
A.        Climate change is problem that threatens the world we all live in, and that issue is bigger than any two companies. Together with the others who have joined us and the others who will join us, we can make a difference. We hope all our members will continue to collaborate where we can on environmental issues.  And for the areas where we can't collaborate, perhaps we'll compete on who can have the most positive impact on the earth.  And what a wonderful competition that would be. 
Note: Climate Savers® is a trademark or registered trademark of WWF, the international conservation organization. Used under license.