Will utilities give consumers cash for buying efficient PCs?

Google representative says a consortium of tech companies is exploring the idea of direct rebates with utilities.

Michael Kanellos Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Michael Kanellos is editor at large at CNET News.com, where he covers hardware, research and development, start-ups and the tech industry overseas.
Michael Kanellos

SAN FRANCISCO--CORRECTION: Right now, if you buy an energy-efficient dishwasher, utilities like PG&E will give you a cash rebate.

They may do the same for energy-efficient PCs.

The Climate Savers Computing Initiative, a consortium of tech companies that is trying to get the industry and consumers to adopt energy-efficient components, has started to explore the idea of direct rebates with utilities, said Erik Teetzel, a program manager at Google during a meeting at the Intel Developer Forum taking place in San Francisco. Google and Intel are the driving forces behind Climate Savers. (correction: we spelled his name wrong. He wrote it on a business card.)

Some component makers already qualify for rebates from utilities. The payments, though, go directly to these manufacturers. Consumers might enjoy lower retail prices as a result, but it's not the same as getting a check in the mail.

Climate savers earlier this year touted a supposedly more efficient power supply that it is promoting to PC and server makers. Its next initiative will be to persuade IT managers and consumers to adopt the power saving settings on their computers.