Telecommuting gets the green stamp

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Telecommuting gets the green stamp

Using electronics to facilitate telecommuting saves the equivalent of nine to 14 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, the energy used by roughly one million US households.

The findings of a study commissioned by the US Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) also indicated that the estimated 3.9 million telecommuters in the US reduced petrol consumption by about 840 million gallons, while curbing carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 14 million tons.

This level of CO2 reduction is equal to removing two million vehicles from the road every year, according to the CEA.

The study attempted to determine the energy savings and CO2 reductions that result from the nation's increased use of electronics, such as personal computers and wireless networks.

"This report demonstrates that consumer electronics are part of a climate change solution in preventing greenhouse gas emissions and reducing fossil fuel consumption," said Gary Shapiro, president and chief executive at the CEA.

"Statistics have been available to detail how much energy electronics use, but less was known about the environmental benefits of consumer products developed by our industry when used to communicate and conduct business."

The study found that just one day of telecommuting saves the equivalent of up to 12 hours of an average household's electricity use.

Telecommuting also saves 1.4 gallons of petrol and reduces CO2 emissions by 17 to 23 kilograms per day, showing the power of one individual to impact their environment in a single day by using electronics, according to Shapiro.

The study focused on workers who spend one or more days working from home each week, and considered the energy consumed by telecommuting compared with traditional methods.

"With power companies looking to reduce electricity demand, and our nation seeking to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels, there is terrific potential for the consumer electronics industry to drive emissions reductions and energy savings if more workers telecommute," said Shapiro.

"We urge all businesses to fully consider the potential of consumer electronics to achieve these important environmental goals."
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