California Energy Commission’s new rules would impact desktop and laptop computers

New rules proposed by the California Energy Commission would require that both desktop and laptop computers use less energy than is required for current typical models, beginning as early as 2019.

According to Reuters, the biggest impact will be on desktops and in order to meet the new energy requirements, it will add an estimated $14 to the retail cost of desktops. However, this would translate to around $40 of energy savings over a 5-year usage period.

According to the NRDC, the total amount of power consumed by computers and monitors would be reduced by about a third once there is a complete turnover in existing stocks of devices.

The first phase of the rules would take effect in January 2019 for desktop and notebook computers. The standards would kick in for workstations and small-scale servers in January 2018 and for computer monitors – covering screens 17 inches and larger – in July 2019.

The standards for desktops, which use far more energy than notebooks, will add about $14 to the retail cost of computers but save consumers more than $40 in electric bills over five years, according to commission estimates.

Who will this really impact? Gamers and anyone doing anything with 3D and virtual reality (VR). In order to drive overclocked CPUs and super-powerful graphics cards, souped-up workstations use a ton of energy, produce a lot of heat that increases cooling requirements, which in turn uses more energy.

Moore’s Law could very well become intertwined with California state law.