Advancing Energy-Efficient Computers and Electronics

PG&E is working collaboratively to help residential and commercial consumers purchase more energy-efficient desktop computers, monitors and TVs. The products are marked with PG&E and ENERGY STAR® stickers to help customers easily indentify them.

Consumer electronics account for up to 15 percent of household electricity use. That’s why PG&E took an innovative approach and created the Business and Consumer Electronics Program, a first-in-the-nation program focused on expanding the availability of energy-efficient electronics through a combination of voluntary incentives and strengthening minimum energy efficiency specifications through state standards.

Administered in conjunction with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR® program and developed in collaboration with numerous partners, the program is helping Californians save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Partners include top electronics retailers, manufacturers, distributors, other utilities, non-profits and governmental organizations. In fact, the 12 participating retailers and manufacturers—Best Buy, Sears/Kmart, Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, Costco, Target, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Brandsource, Nationwide and Synnex Lenov—represent approximately 70 percent of the national electronics market.

Last year, PG&E paid more than $8 million in incentives to these top electronics organizations to bring the highest-efficiency TVs, desktop computers and monitors to the market and make them readily available to consumers at key retailer locations. PG&E worked with the retailers to display point-of-purchase signage (in-store and online) and conduct in-store training and marketing efforts.

PG&E was also instrumental in developing the nation’s first energy-efficiency standards for TVs. Beginning in 2011, all new TVs sold in California are required to meet the highest efficiency standards in the nation. This standard, combined with the broader Business and Consumer Electronics Program, is expected to save California customers approximately $8.1 billion on their energy bills over 10 years.

Our work on the TV standard was part of our comprehensive efforts to advance specifications for more energy-efficient products and equipment. Throughout the two-year California Energy Commission regulatory process, PG&E collaborated with many stakeholders, including the Natural Resources Defense Council and California municipal and investor-owned utilities, to advocate for the strict efficiency standards.


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