CEA Urges Congress To Support Innovation Through Voluntary Energy Efficiency Initiative
In testimony given today before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA®) urged Congress to support innovation and voluntary initiatives for energy efficiency of consumer electronics and expressed concern regarding state-level adoption of inconsistent energy efficiency standards for electronics. The testimony came as the Subcommittee convened to discuss long-standing problems with the Department of Energy’s program for setting efficiency standards.
Douglas Johnson, CEA’s senior director of technology policy and international affairs, appeared before the Subcommittee and pointed to innovation and voluntary programs such as Energy Star as the primary drivers of energy efficiency in the consumer electronics sector. “Energy Star is clearly the best policy approach to saving energy in the consumer electronics sector, and it has saved billions of kilowatt hours of electricity and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by millions of tons,” he said.
According to CEA, voluntary initiatives, such as the successful government-industry Energy Star program, have delivered more energy efficient products to consumers and businesses over time. “Of the two billion Energy Star purchases since 1992, more than half – 1.1 billion – have been consumer electronics devices,” said Johnson. “As policy makers consider programs and policies that support the efficient use of energy, we urge Congress to support innovation and promote consumer-oriented initiatives like Energy Star that are flexible and market-oriented.”
Johnson also expressed concern regarding a burgeoning state patchwork of energy efficiency standards for external power supplies, also known as AC power adapters, which are used with a wide range of consumer electronics including mobile phones, PDAs, laptop computers, digital cameras and camcorders. “We are deeply concerned by a recent increase in state legislative activity. Patchwork standards are a decentralized, divergent and economically inefficient approach to energy efficiency,” Johnson said. He added that CEA supports quick federal action on establishing a national energy efficiency standard for external power supplies.
Mr. Johnson concluded by highlighting industry’s role in promoting energy efficiency. He said the industry has a responsibility to inform consumers about energy use of their products and cited CEA’s new consumer education website, www.myGreenElectronics.org, which provides innovative new online tools that help consumers choose energy efficient products. He also noted the many ways in which electronics contribute to energy savings, such as facilitating teleworking, allowing remote access to information and entertainment, and enabling energy efficiency in various other industrial sectors.
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