By Ayesha Rascoe
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An international clean energy coalition is searching for the world's most energy-efficient appliances, and has launched a contest to find the top energy-saving computer monitors as part of an effort to drive down electricity usage.
The contest will be sponsored by U.S. Energy Department and other governments.
Desktop computer monitors annually use about 30 to 40 terawatt-hours of electricity, equivalent to about 10 mid-sized coal fired power plants, organizers said.
Steve Pantano, an administrator for the Super-efficient Equipment and Appliance Deployment (SEAD) initiative, said the effort allows companies to show their commitment to innovative technology while saving consumers money and helping the environment.
"There's a tremendous opportunity for everyone to benefit," Pantano said. "From a manufacturing standpoint, there's evidence that energy efficiency sells."
The initiative is a part of the Clean Energy Ministerial, a global forum launched by the U.S. Energy Department and other governments in July 2010 to promote clean energy technology.
Previous efforts included a drive in 2012 to identify the most energy-efficient flat-panel televisions, a title claimed by models from Samsung and LG Electronics.
With Secretary Steven Chu at the helm, the U.S. Energy Department has made advancing renewable energy and energy efficiency a top priority, as part of efforts to address climate change and boost the economy.
Instead of setting minimum standards that products must meet, the competition will recognize the top power-saving computer monitors in three different size categories.
The contest will name winners from four different regions: Australia, Europe, India and North America, as well as overall international winners in each size category.
(Reporting by Ayesha Rascoe; editing by Ros Krasny and M.D. Golan)