EU, U.S. To Mandate More Efficient PCs, Printers

BRUSSELS (AP) -- New energy efficiency standards for computers, printers and copiers, which will be adopted by the EU and U.S. at the end of June, could save Europe enough energy to power Ireland for a year, the EU executive said Wednesday.

Energy Star standards for computers and imaging equipment agreed earlier by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the European Commission are due to become law in the EU on July 1.

They require electronics manufacturers worldwide to make office equipment up to 14 percent more energy efficient than current models without having to make separate products for different standards in their two biggest markets, the U.S. and the EU.

The European Commission said better efficiency standards could save Europe up to 22 terawatt hours of electricity over four to six years.

The EPA says if all imaging products sold in the U.S. met the new standards, U.S. consumers would save nearly $500 million a year in energy costs and prevent greenhouse gas emissions that would be released by more than 500,000 cars.

The EU is aiming to cut energy use by a fifth by 2020 as part of its ambitious goals to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent.

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