A PC shopper's guide to energy efficiency
When shopping for a new desktop or laptop, more consumers are factoring energy consumption into their purchasing decisions. Fortunately, potential buyers these days don't have to sacrifice performance to compute with the environment in mind.
When purchasing a new computer, one of the first things an environmentally conscious shopper should look for is the ENERGY STAR logo. ENERGY STAR is a program developed by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy that provides guidelines and ratings for energy use in products. A PC with an ENERGY STAR emblem is certified for its energy efficiency, and is generally a good place to get started.
A consumer can take this a step further by building a computer with energy-efficient components. Using a less power-hungry processor, for example, can reduce the amount of energy a system needs to run and, as an added benefit for laptop owners, can lengthen its battery life. The efficiency of the hard drive, motherboard and internal fan should also be considered when building a low-consumption computer.
According to a study from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, electronics account for 4 percent of the average home's annual energy spending. By investing in energy-efficient technology, computer owners may not only reduce their carbon footprints, but also lower monthly utility bills.