Could iPads eventually be eligible for the Energy Star designation? They just might if legislation proposed by Silicon Valley Rep. Michael Honda (D-Calif.) is approved by Congress. Honda recently re-introduced the Smart Electronics Act, a bill we first explored in April 2010, which would address the greehouse gas impacts and energy costs of electronics throughout the world, and introduced the Nanotechnology Advancement and New Opportunties Act.
Honda’s Smart Electronics bill requires the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to assess the potential for energy efficient electronics to recieve the Energy Star designation, something that now only applies to household appliances. The agencies would also assess the global growth of electronic usage and energy consumption and be tasked with creating a standardized process for defining, catagorizing and ranking technolgies as “smart.”
It is estimated that electronic gadgets will triple their energy consumption by the year 2030 to levels equal to that of home electricity needs of the US and Japan combined. The electric bill to power all of these electronics – which are often using power even when they’re off – is estimated at $200 billion a year, compared to $80 billion in 2010.
The Nanotechnology Advancement and New Opportunties Act would use the recommendations of a blue ribbon task force aimed at promoting the development and commercialization of nanotechnology. The act would also create partnerships, raise awareness and implement strategies to promote nanotechnology. Specifics of the legislation include adopting tax credits for investment in nanotechnology, grant programs for nanotechnology research and incubator programs.