USA leads the way on energy efficient computers

Personal computers and printers with greatly reduced energy consumption are coming onto the UK market following a major initiative by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to promote low-energy computer equipment. The US Government, the world's largest single buyer of PCs, intends to use its purchasing power to give the new equipment a market push - but without a similar commitment in the UK there are doubts whether the most efficient models will be able to compete with conventional products with a lower purchase price.

The EPA's initiative was a response to the rapidly expanding population of PCs in the USA, where their energy consumption is projected to double from today's 5% of national commercial power consumption to 10% by 2000. Not only does each computer directly use some 250-300 watts of electricity, but large amounts of energy are needed for air conditioning to dissipate the 100 watts of heat produced by each unit.

In June 1992, the EPA announce

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