The energy consumption of consumer electronics is steadily increasing. In the 1992-1996 period its energy consumption has increased by roughly 50%. Along with this, we are observing an intense development of new products along with new functionality getting the best out of the intelligence embedded in products and their communication functions. There is also a strong increase in the equipment rate of households principally due to the increasing diversity of applications made out of residential electronics, and furthermore, the global drop of components price and thus the final price of equipment. Consumer electronics that still have a product cycle to go need to be integrated in an energy saving optimisation. This should be done in a way that we would soon be able to control their energy consumption with the intelligence already embedded, since the next generation of equipment with efficient energy saving modes will not be built soon. ePowerTomorrow is the name for an initiative co-ordinated by the French agency for the environment and energy saving (ADEME). It aims at promoting the creation on an international scale of a recommendation group on the energetic aspects of information technologies development within the household. This group, composed of institutional actors, industrials, research centres, and service companies, will focus particularly on the energetic efficiency of home equipment, on the energetic and environmental impact of e-commerce, on the new energetic service within the residential sector, and on the energy management systems within the household. Consequently, the ePowerTomorrow initiative is gathering the efforts of European experts in the field of energy and environment so that growing consumer electronics use will not lead to proportionally growing energy consumption. Our first objective is to discuss, among a panel of European experts, the energetic issues of households equipment and determine the possible evolution of energy consumption of this equipment. Moreover, our initiative is aiming at designing action plans to consider the already embedded intelligence in existing household equipment to enable energy saving functionality (modifying existing products), and to prepare further energy saving standards (developing new products). This action plan should be designed after a watch in the fields concerned to describe the "state of the art" of todays knowledge and technology, which in turn will lead to define and conduct a prospective study that will provide the group with a possible evolution of this "state of the art", in order to enable the group to define the appropriate action plan. This paper describes ePowerTomorrow through its background, its objectives and its expected results, as well as its working organisation.
ePowerTomorrow: A foresighting approach for it and energy issues
23rd AIVC and EPIC 2002 Conference (in conjunction with 3rd European Conference on Energy Performance and Indoor Climate in Buildings) "Energy efficient and healthy buildings in sustainable cities", Lyon, France, 23-26 October 2002