New Zealand has joined the United States, Japan and Sweden in endorsing the US Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star programme.
The endorsement comes as part of a national office equipment efficiency campaign run by New Zealand's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA), called "Switch Off".
As part of the campaign, the EECA is asking New Zealand's top 1000 corporate IT users to promote the switching off of PCs at the end of working hours. Nine major IT suppliers supporting the campaign are Acer, Apple, AST, Compaq, Digital, IBM, PC Direct, Toshiba and Total Peripherals. Major IT users already supporting the campaign are Telecom, Westpac, ECNZ, TranzRail, the National Library, Ministry of Education and the NZ Defence Force.
The Energy Star programme sets specifications for energy- efficient office equipment and those products which meet the specifications bear an Energy Star logo sticker and have a sleep option available which powers down the machine if it has not been used for a set time. The computer comes back to life at the touch of the mouse or keyboard.
EECA senior programme executive Chris Waghorn says if machines are less than three years old they are almost certain to have an energy-management software chip already installed, but with some machines, the sleep option has to be set up after purchase.
The EECA estimates an organisation with 50 PCs can save $4000 a year and prevent 33 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions if every computer is switched off at the end of the day.
The EECA is on the WWW at http://www.energywise.co.nz/office/office.html.