Concerns surrounding the supply and costs of energy are mounting, making the big energy-saving opportunities offered by ENERGY STAR more important than ever. A new ENERGY STAR specification brings the power used by computers in their sleep-state down from 30 watts to 15 or less. This represents significant energy savings from the typical 150-watt consumption of computers without power-management features, and has led companies like Intel and AMD to develop new, state-of-the art power management technologies.
Intel’s Instantly Available PC (IAPC) is an open platform that allows a PC to power down to a sleep mode when not in use and awaken in seconds. PCs with IAPC technology may use as few as three watts while in sleep mode. And, while standard PCs often take between 30 and 90 seconds to power up from a sleep-state, PCs with IAPC technology may resume full operation in less than 10 seconds, while also maintaining communications—something not previously possible for PCs. For users, this means more effective use of time and power resources without compromising real-time Internet, network, and telephony connectivity.
While power-management technologies can reduce a PC’s energy consumption by 71 percent, an estimated 40 percent of all monitors used in the US with sleep-state features are enabled for power management. ENERGY STAR estimates show that a medium-sized business with 1,000 power-management enabled PCs could save as much as $20,000 per year in energy costs.
To realize these savings, simply look for computers carrying the ENERGY STAR label. If you are not in the market for new computers you should ensure that existing power-management features are enabled. ENERGY STAR also now offers tools that allow network administrators to enable monitor power management from a central location. For more information about power management, contact Steve Ryan of the US EPA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cities and Counties Reduce Power Expenses Using New ENERGY STAR Labeled Traffic Signals
Power shortages and rising energy costs are growing concerns for city and county managers nationwide. ENERGY STAR labeled vehicle and pedestrian traffic signals now offer many managers a helpful solution. Rather than using incandescent bulbs, ENERGY STAR labeled traffic signals incorporate light emitting diode (LED) technology. LED technology efficiently uses electrical energy, emitting large amounts of light from small inputs of power (six to 25 watts, depending on the shape and type of signal, compared to 70 to 150 watts for incandescent bulbs).
Through the use of ENERGY STAR labeled traffic signals, cities can save 51 million kWh of energy and nearly $70,000 a year for every 100 traffic signals replaced, in addition to preventing the release of more than 200,000 Metric Tons of air pollution. LED traffic signals have lower maintenance costs because they can last more than seven years, while incandescent bulbs often must be replaced after only one year. LED traffic signals also rarely fail, reducing the risk of accidents at intersections and associated liability costs for government agencies. So even with a higher initial investment for this advanced technology, product lifetime benefits significantly outweigh purchase costs.
Early champions of LED technology include Anaheim, California; Boulder County, Colorado; Denver, Colorado; Manchester, New Hampshire; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; St. Paul, Minnesota; and Scottsdale, Arizona. ENERGY STAR estimates that replacing all incandescent traffic signals with LED signals nationwide would save 2.7 billion kWh per year, or roughly 80 to 90 percent of the energy currently consumed by traffic signals. This is equivalent to eliminating the emissions from 443,000 cars per year.
Only traffic signals that comply with the Institute of Transportation Engineers’ (ITE) standards and operate at low wattage levels under normal conditions can qualify to receive the ENERGY STAR label. ENERGY STAR recommends that interested purchasers of LED traffic signals seek professional guidance to optimize quality and savings opportunities. Explore this Web site for more information on traffic signals, qualified manufacturers, and other ENERGY STAR labeled products.
The portfolio manager is ENERGY STAR’s tool for managing your organization’s approach to reducing energy costs. The Web-based tool’s expanded features allow you to:
These features will allow you to set reasonable performance targets and monitor your success both for individual buildings and for your entire building portfolio.
For more information about the portfolio manager or ENERGY STAR, visit the Web site.
In response to the energy crisis on the West Coast, Governor Gary Locke of the state of Washington issued a challenge to middle and high school students to be proactive about energy usage in their schools. The Governor asked state school children to embrace the ideals of ENERGY STAR and energy efficiency by joining efforts with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on April 22nd — the officially recognized day for Earth Day 2001 — by benchmarking their school’s energy against ENERGY STAR Buildings standard. The challenge required students to research 16 different aspects of their schools and enter their data into the ENERGY STAR Web site. Once entered, schools received a ranking between one and 100. Those receiving a ranking of 75 or greater were eligible to receive an ENERGY STAR label. Schools that did not receive the ENERGY STAR label were encouraged to upgrade their facilities prior to the beginning of the 2001-2002 school year, and reapply for the label in 2002.
Educational Institutions Recognized for Environmental and Financial Leadership
The 2001 ENERGY STAR awards recognized outstanding educational institutional leaders that are taking action to eliminate wasted energy and are simultaneously reaping the benefits of increased financial performance and savings while protecting the environment.
ENERGY STAR award winners enthusiastically shared stories about the benefits of energy efficiency, improvements in the management of financial resources, and the honor of being recognized nationally for their efforts:
“Energy conservation is taken very seriously here at the University of Missouri at Columbia. Winning this award will maintain a high level of interest in the program, which will enable the energy-efficiency program to prosper in the future. We have already increased our annual energy savings to upwards of $2.5 million. That is a little over 10 percent of our energy budget that is saved, and that is a big deal.” – Kevin Kuretich
“At UVA, we are continuing to march forward with our energy-efficient lighting and central district cooling programs. We are realizing savings of $1.5 — $3.0 million per year in energy costs due to these programs. The energy-efficiency program continues to expand as we design new buildings under energy-efficient guidelines.” – Anthony Motto
“The bottom line is that our energy-efficient practices save taxpayer dollars, and we are putting those savings right back into the classroom by purchasing additional computers and other technologies for our students—tomorrow’s leaders—and that’s good for everybody. We are very happy to accept this award…Kingston City Schools are on the right track to improving the environment for future generations.” – Robert Cunningham
Harrisburg Area Community College, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
“This award reinforces that our environmentally friendly actions are well worth the financial investment today. We will continue to increase our financial savings as energy costs rise in the future. At Harrisburg Area Community College, we are extremely pleased with our efforts.” – Anthony Buerk