Some of the world’s largest electronic companies have launched a major initiative to slash the amount electricity used by computers.
Search engine Google, manufacturers Dell and IBM and software giant Microsoft are just some of the companies who have signed up to the Climate Savers Computing Initiative.
By 2010 it aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by setting industry-wide targets for energy-efficient computers and components.
Google Senior Vice President Urs Holzle said: ‘Today, the average desktop PC wastes nearly half of its power, and the average server wastes one-third of its power.
‘The Climate Savers Computing Initiative is setting a new 90 per cent efficiency target for power supplies, which if achieved, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 54 million tons per year – and save more than $5.5 billion in energy costs.
‘We are asking businesses and individuals throughout the world to join with us to institute better power management of their computing equipment and purchase energy-efficient computers.’
Backers of the initiative say the cut in greenhouse gases will be equivalent to removing more than 11 million cars from the road.
An energy-saving website has also been set up to help consumers learn how to take advantage of their existing computer’s power-saving capabilities such as sleep and hibernate modes, which can reduce the amount of energy consumed by up to 60 per cent.