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Computers, Servers May Get Energy Conservation Standards

Friday, July 12, 2013
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Department of Energy has tentatively determined that computers and computer servers qualify as covered products under Part A of Title III of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act. If the DOE finalizes these determinations it will consider test procedures for measuring the energy efficiency, energy use or estimated annual operating cost for these products, as well as energy conservation standards. Written comments, data and information on these notices, including the proposed definitions set forth below, are due no later than Aug. 12.

The DOE proposes to definecomputers as consumer products that perform logical operations and process data. A computer is, at a minimum, composed of (a) a central processing unit to perform operations or the ability to function as a client gateway to a server that acts as a computational CPU, (b) user input devices such as a keyboard, mouse or touchpad, and (c) an integrated display screen and/or the ability to support an external display screen to output information. This proposed definition includes desktop computers, integrated desktop computers, laptop/notebook/netbook computers, and workstations.

Computer servers would be defined as computers that provide services and manage networked resources for client devices (e.g., desktop computers, notebook computers, thin clients, wireless devices, PDAs, IP telephones, other computer servers, or other network devices). A computer server is primarily accessed via network connections rather than directly connected user input devices such as a keyboard or mouse.

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