Google and Intel launched a broad-based program on Tuesday to introduce more energy-efficient personal computers and server systems to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Called the "Climate Savers Computing Initiative," the new program has signed on computer makers Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Lenovo Group Ltd. , software maker Microsoft, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and more than 25 environmental groups, companies and universities for the energy savings campaign.
The program will set new efficiency goals for computers and software tools that manage power consumption.
Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have thrown capital behind numerous environmentally friendly ventures, including the installation of one of the largest solar energy systems to power their sprawling headquarters.
The program requires a 90 percent efficiency standard for power supplies, said Urs Holzle, senior vice president of operations at Google.
More efficient computing could trim the use of electricity that now is being wasted as heat, which in turn, especially in large server centers, requires more power for air conditioning.
"The Climate Savers Computing Initiative is setting a new 90 percent 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," said Holzle.
The program also includes the World Wildlife Fund, which licensed the initiative from its WWF Climate Savers program, and California utility PG&E Corp. , which offers rebate programs for energy savings products.
The climate program will follow the EPA's Energy Star guidelines for energy efficiencies in computers, home appliances and other devices this year to introduce the initiative.
Energy Star standards currently require that PC computer power supplies hit at least 80 percent efficiency and that would rise to a minimum 90 percent by 2010 under the new climate initiative.
Higher efficiency will raise the price of a personal computer by $20 and a server by $30, said Pat Gelsinger, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Digital Enterprise Group, adding that more efficient systems would pay for themselves in lower energy costs.