Even though consumers are using more energy-friendly appliances, more electronics are holding efficiency back further

A new report released by the International Energy Agency (IEA) said demand for devices like mobile phones, MP3 players, PCs and TVs negatively impact energy efficiency gains that have been made by other products in the household.

The IEA is concerned, if the trend doesn't stop, electronic household device energy consumption will triple before 2030.  As people live more affluent lives, it has been increasingly difficult to reduce the amount of energy use and greenhouse gases produced, the research report said.

“There is a way of having our cake and eating it at the same time by being much more proactive on efficiency,” IEA analyst Paul Wade recently said.  “We can hold total consumption at today's levels by using best available technologies, despite a dramatic growth in use.”

According to the report, electricity consumption has increased 3.4 percent per year since 1990 across the entire world.  Electronics such as PCs, TVs and DVD players, and MP3 players are using more electricity while refrigerators and dishwashers power usage has declined – however, consumer electronics offset all of the savings that took years to implement.

It should be interesting to see if more governments are going to put pressure upon manufacturers or consumers, or if both groups will be called upon to reduce consumption.  Not all is lost, however, since the majority of electronics and appliances have improved energy efficiency – the report indicates that it's now up to the consumer to purchase these devices.  

Governments and companies are attempting to help consumers reduce energy consumption by releasing greener products that use less power.  In the United Kingdom, the government will roll out smart meters in 2.6 million British households per year over the next 10 years. 

"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007
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