SEAD Supports the G20’s Efforts to Increase Efficiency in Networked Devices

The SEAD Initiative supports the G20’s collaborative global effort to increase the energy efficiency of network-connected devices.

Networked devices are one of six focus areas under the G20 Energy Efficiency Action Plan, an international effort that seeks to drive economic activity, strengthen energy security, and improve environmental outcomes by increasing the energy efficiency of G20 economies. Network connectivity is an increasingly common feature in newer models of common appliances and equipment. Adding connectivity unlocks new levels of functionality in these products, but this benefit comes at a cost—networked devices constantly consume at least a small amount of extra power in order to maintain their network connection, even when a device is not in-use.

According to More Data, Less Energy, a joint publication of the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the IEA Energy Efficient End-Use Equipment (4E) Implementing Agreement, the annual power consumption of networked devices is already over 600 billion kilowatt-hours globally, more than the electricity consumed by Canada in a single year. With up to 50 billion devices expected to be network-connected by 2020, the power consumption of networked devices is projected to nearly double by 2025.

Chart of Global Electricity Consumption from networked devices
Source: More Data, Less Energy: Making Network Standby More Efficient in Billions of Connected Devices, OECD/IEA, 2014.

As part of the Networked Devices Project of the G20 Energy Efficiency Action Plan, governments, technical experts, and industry are working together to address this global rise in network standby energy consumption by improving the energy efficiency of network-connected devices. The UK Government is leading this project, with additional support from SEAD, IEA, and IEA 4E.

Activity commenced at a workshop in Paris in January 2015, where government officials and industry representatives from 13 countries brainstormed priority actions for increasing the efficiency of network-connected devices in both the short- and long-term.

Representatives of the G20 member governments are convening this week in Copenhagen for a one-day workshop to discuss progress made in this effort, and the IEA is hosting a second joint government/industry workshop in Paris on June 17-18.

Leading up to the next G20 meeting in Turkey, SEAD and its partners will follow-up on strategies proposed and discussed at these various workshops, as well as solicit additional ideas for reducing network-standby power consumption.

The International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation (IPEEC) is tasked with providing a progress report on the Networked Devices Project to the G20 in November 2015.

Presentations and other materials from the January 2015 workshop are available on the IEA website.

Read the G20 Communique on the Networked Devices Project here.