Intel and Google announced a partnership with 25 companies and organizations: Climate Savers Computing Initiative. "The goal of the new broad-based environmental effort is to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by setting aggressive new targets for energy-efficient computers and components, and promoting the adoption of energy-efficient computers and power management tools worldwide."
Urs Hölzle from Google mentioned that a desktop PC wastes half of its power, a server wastes one-third of its power and 90% of the computers don't use power management settings.
The group hopes to improve the energy efficiency by 50% until 2010 and to reduce the CO2 emissions from computers by 54 million tons per year (equivalent to the removal of 11 million autos or planting 65,000 km2 of trees).
The initiative will try to improve the Energy Star requirements. "Our Initiative starts with the 2007 Energy Star requirements for desktops, laptops and workstation computers—including monitors—and gradually increases the efficiency requirements over the next four years. The Initiative's standard for these machines, which takes effect in July 2007, requires power supplies to be at least 80% efficient for most of their load range. It also puts limits on the energy used by devices when inactive, and requires systems to be shipped with power-management features enabled."
An energy-efficient computers will cost $20-$30 more, but the energy savings will offset the cost in the first two years. As more computers will be sold, they'll become a standard and you won't see any premium price for them. So the next time you buy a computer, make sure it has the Energy Star logo or other distinctive mark that identifies energy-efficient equipment.