Bush tells agencies to buy products that use less standby power

Bush tells agencies to buy products that use less standby power

President Bush has issued an executive order requiring agencies to buy products that consume less electrical power while idle.

Many devices, such as computer monitors, cellular phone chargers, printers and fax machines, use electricity when they are not being used'even when powered off'but are still plugged into an outlet. That use is called standby power.

According to the executive order, when agencies buy off-the-shelf equipment that uses external power supplies or has an internal standby power function, they should buy products that consume no more than 1 watt. If such products are not available, the government should buy devices with the lowest possible standby power usage.

The order also charges the Energy Department with drawing up an annual list of products that meet the new requirement.

Bush promised he would sign such an order when visiting Energy headquarters in late June [see www.gcn.com/vol20_no19/news/4635-1.html]. At the time, he dubbed products that use lots of standby power as 'vampire devices.'

'And so we've set what we call a 1-watt standard throughout the federal government, that we expect our agencies to be ridding themselves of the vampires and using energy conservation devices,' Bush said when he signed the executive order yesterday in the Oval Office.

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