Compute This: CA Leads the Way to Computer Energy Savings


By Jennifer Cregar

California is known for being first in a lot of ways:

  • First radio broadcast
  • First indoor shopping mall
  • First hot fudge sundae
  • First personal computer

And now you can add: the first to set mandatory energy efficiency standards for computers. This past December, the California Energy Commission adopted new rules that will limit the amount of energy computers, monitors and small servers can use when they are on or off.

empower Central Coast provides guidance and funding options for making big energy efficiency upgrades to your home, like adding insulation, installing new windows or replacing your water heater, but the energy used by smaller devices can really add up. Americans spend more than $12 billion a year powering computers, smartphones, modems and other electronic gadgets. In California, up to 3 percent of electricity used in homes goes to power computers and monitors.

The state’s new computer energy efficiency standards will help take a bite out of the growing portion of consumers’ electricity bill that go to running electronics that use energy around the clock. The new energy-saving standards are estimated to save enough energy to power around 350,000 homes each year, cutting electricity bills statewide by more than $370 million per year. The requirements will phase in over several years, starting in January 2018.

To learn more about the computer energy efficiency standards, visit:

To learn about other ways to improve the efficiency of your home, visit