IEA Highlights Need to Reduce Energy Use from Networked Devices

IEA7 January 2013: The International Energy Agency (IEA) has underscored the need to reduce energy use from information and communication technology (ICT), which currently accounts for 5 percent of global electricity consumption.

The IEA predicts that ICT electricity consumption, and therefore its emissions, may double by 2022 and nearly triple by 2030, when the number of network-connected products is expected to exceed 100 billion. The IEA indicates that it is working to reduce ICT energy use through the IEA Implementing Agreement on Efficient Electrical End-Use Equipment (IEA-4E). It is also partnering with Clean Energy Ministerial's initiative on Super-efficient Equipment and Appliance Deployment program (SEAD).

The Agency also notes progress towards reducing ICT energy use in several countries. The Republic of Korea has two programs requiring targets for standby modes in networked devices: the e-Standby Program and the Energy Efficiency Labeling Program. In the United States, the voluntary Energy Star Program includes provisions to measure and monitor networked standby modes in televisions and displays. Meanwhile, the European Union has introduced a Code of Conduct on Energy Efficiency of Broadband Equipment, and is establishing regulatory provisions for power management features in network connected projects.

IEA efforts to reduce ICT energy use build on previous initiatives, including the 1999 “1-watt” initiative, which helped reduce the average new television's standby electricity consumption from 5 watts to half a watt. The IEA also released its voluntary Guiding Principles of Energy Efficiency in Networked Products in 2007, and is expected to release new policy guidance for governments and other stakeholders in 2013. [IEA Press Release]