Study estimates computers' energy consumption

Study estimates computers' energy consumption

Computers and telephone networks consume about 3 percent of all the electricity produced in the United States, according to a study commissioned by the Energy Department.

The study by Arthur D. Little Inc. is the first of its kind to include the power consumption of telephone network equipment and uninterruptible power supplies, said Kurt Roth, project leader at the Cambridge, Mass., consulting firm.

Roth's team studied more than 30 types of nonresidential office and telecommunications equipment and found that, nationwide, they consumed 98 billion kilowatt-hours during the year 2000.

The consultants said eight categories accounted for almost 90 percent of all electrical usage by office equipment. They were computer monitors, PCs, servers, copiers, computer networking equipment, telephone networking equipment, printers and UPSes.

The four equipment categories that make up the Internet backbone'servers, computer and phone networks, and UPSes'used about 30 percent of the nonresidential office energy total, Roth said.

The draft report was presented yesterday to Energy's Office of Building Technology, State and Community Programs. The final report will be out next month.

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