The International Energy Agency (IEA) has released information that new consumer electronics devices are ruining the progress that household appliances have achieved in terms of energy efficiency.

In a report entitled ‘Gadgets and Gigawatts’ the IEA called on Governments to urgently implement policies to make electronic devices such as televisions, laptops and mobile phones more energy efficient.

The report outlined that household items such as appliances, refrigerators, washing machines and freezers have improved in efficiency over the years and are requiring a lower amount of energy consumption.

But new advancements in the consumer electronics market have dampened these improvements and it is forecasted that consumption levels will double by 2022 and increase threefold by 2030.

Nobuo Tanaka, executive director of the IEA commented, “The energy consumed by these gadgets will triple by 2030 to 1700 TWh, the equivalent of today’s total residential consumption in the US and Japan combined”.

“Without new policies, the projected energy demand from information and communications technologies and consumer electronics will undermine our energy security and climate change mitigation.”

Tanaka also emphasised that the economic ramifications of this will also be devastating.

“It would cost households around the world US $200 billion in electricity bills and require the addition of approximately 280 Gigawatts of new generating capacity,” Tanaka said.

The IEA report also outlined that the easiest way for energy consumption to be lowered is for technology to harness only the power that is needed.

“Some of these savings can be achieved through better equipment and components, but the largest improvement opportunity must come from making hardware and software work together more effectively to ensure that energy is only used when, and to the extent needed,” Tanaka said.