PG&E Joins Forces to Drive Efficiency in Electronic Products

PG&E is working collaboratively to accelerate the adoption of energy-efficient TVs, computers and monitors in our service area and throughout the nation.

Consumer electronics are the fastest growing source of electricity use in PG&E’s service area. In fact, by 2020, they are projected to account for nearly 20 percent of the country’s total residential electricity consumption, overtaking appliances and lighting.

To address this emerging trend, PG&E created a first-in-the-nation program focused on expanding the use of energy-efficient electronics and specifications. Administered in conjunction with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program, the program will help PG&E customers save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

To implement the program, PG&E is working with top electronics retailers, original equipment manufacturers and non-profit and governmental organizations—all collaborating to help businesses and consumers become more informed about the benefits of purchasing energy-efficient electronic products. The program has been recognized as a model by other utilities throughout North America.

Last year, PG&E paid more than $6 million in incentives to top electronics retailers and manufacturers to bring the highest-efficiency TVs, desktop computers and monitors to the market. PG&E also worked with the participating retailers—including Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Sears, Target and Costco—to display point-of-purchase signage and conduct in-store training and marketing efforts.

PG&E was also instrumental in developing the nation’s first energy efficiency standards for TVs, unanimously approved by the CEC last year. Beginning in 2011, all new TVs sold in California will meet the highest efficiency standards in the nation.

The new TV efficiency standards will generate an estimated 6,515 GWh in energy savings, after all existing TV stock is replaced—avoiding the output of an average-sized power plant. California customers can expect to save approximately $8.1 billion in energy costs over ten years.

The effort was part of our long history of advancing specifications for more energy-efficient products and equipment. Throughout the two-year CEC regulatory process, PG&E collaborated with many stakeholders to advocate for the strict efficiency standards, including the Natural Resources Defense Council, Sacramento Municipal Utility District and Southern California Edison.