Recently, I switched my internet provider from O2 to Kabel Deutschland and got new hardware. I made some findings I found interesting:
It seems very many power supplies today have a label on their energy effiency. If you find something called "EFFIENCY LEVEL: V" - that's it. V is currently the best, I the worst. Higher values are reserved for the future (so this is much more intelligent than the stupid EU energy label, where A stands for "this was the best when we invented this label some years ago"). I haven't tried that yet, but from what I read it seems worth replacing inefficient power supplies with better ones.
The cable modem I got eats 4 Watts. Considering that it's the crucial part that cannot be switched off as long as I want to be able to receive phone calls, I consider this rather high. The power supply had effiency level IV. If anyone knows of any energy saving cable modems, I'm open for suggestions.
I was quite impressed by the router I got for free. It's a D-Link 615 and it's using 2,4 Watts with wireless and 1,4 Watts without. That's MUCH better than anything I've seen before. So at least we see some progress here. (and for people interested in free software: it seems at least DD-WRT claims to support it and the other *WRT projects are working on it)
Though I still fail to understand why there can't be a simple law stating that every electronic device must put information about it's energy consumption on the package.
What really is this "efficiency level"?
I looked for a document "International Efficiency Marking Protocol" - and it seems there is almost no difference between level III and IV.
I'm wondering why they just don't clearly label devices like AC Adapters with power usage in watts and maybe energy conversion efficiency.
It would be easy to say which device is using less energy and which one waste it turning electricity to heat.