“By all indications, by the end of this year the California Energy Commission will adopt energy efficiency guidelines for computers, becoming the first state in the nation to do so.
The agency estimates it will add about $18 to price of a computer but promises it will save customers and businesses much more in energy savings.”
See California poised to set regulations on computersI’ve long proposed using smaller/cheaper/thinner desktop PCs but I’m not so sure this can properly be legislated. Users and uses of PCs and servers are just too diverse. It just makes no sense to require <X watts. Some folks actually crunch large volumes of data or use immense local storage. Heck, I need double the watts for a display simply because my eyes are old and never worked that well in the beginning…
What I think may not matter. California drove Sierra Bullets out of the state because the cost of doing business became too large to be competitive. Later they worked to ban all lead from bullets… California has regulated automobiles and even lawn-mowers nearly to death. My late “complies with California” rototiller always ran at top RPM because some legislation required little or no idling. That machine broke twice in two years… An engine and transmission needs to warm up some before spacings and viscosities reach the right levels to take on full load.
Computers may need to idle to keep files available for the network or because the user just can’t wait for rebooting. I just don’t see how regulations could be practical for PCs. You could try setting the maximum age, for instance, but inadvertently increase junk piles/waste of material instead of energy. Repurposing older computers for lighter loads is a good thing but it saves no energy except the energy needed for manufacture. I can see many ways this plan could really go off the rails. What if it just displaces certain jobs out of state?
Unless the state is going to run all IT, this just can’t work. Whatever throttle, limit or setting California requires will either have some means of circumvention or be counter-productive. My late roto-tiller had zero adjustments the user could make to control the engine except starting and stopping. Whatever they do for PCs is likely to wreck someone’s IT. Suppose they require thin clients, the most efficient PCs around. That would shut down all desktops that need local data or serious audio-visual throughput. I’d bet Hollywood would outsource a lot of jobs if they did that.