Energy Saving needs to be exercises at all the stages of the designs as explain in the article even the users can not be kept aside in this consideration. But the major bottleneck in implementing Energy Saving is the priority level of it, in almost every case of design it is prioritized later after targeted deadlines, and it is obvious that the completion of task will be more important and at later stage the thought of saving will be acted upon.
I can't help but think that the "environmental" aspects of energy efficiency for solid state electronics are mostly a smoke screen. The biggest motivation for designing in energy efficiency has to be battery life, in portable or mobile appliances. Because that aside, the power draw of most such devices is very small, compared to other uses of electric power (lighting, especially incandescent, HVAC, hot water, kitchen appliances, never mind factories and transportation).
Plug loads and appliances (as opposed to heating, cooling and wired lighting) are now responsible for the majority of residential and commercial electricity consumption in the US (EIA 2013). In California, it's two thirds (RASS 2009). With this level of load, and the growing policy focus on energy efficiency at Federal level and in many states, for example with California's zero net energy buildings goals, energy efficiency will no longer be confined to mobile devices, it is going to spread to all plug loads. The good news is that an increasing number of these plug loads are getting smart and connected, which makes them a great opportunity for dynamic power management, and energy reporting and control. I bet this will also drive growing consumer interest when they are able to easily understand which of their plug loads are vampires sucking money on their utility bills.
It certainly does matter a lot how much energy electronics use. In fact it's the majority of our electricity usage nowadays. My DVR uses 10% of my yearly electricity consumption due to using 20W in standby! That's more than my tv or computer use yearly, and despite using electric hot water heating for much of the year... I'd say anything more than 1W 24/7 is ridiculously inefficient and a potential fire hazard.
However even 1W standby is too inefficient if you consider the average household has 50+ appliances plugged in 24/7 (in the UK that would cost about £100 a year at current prices of ~22p/kWh). So aiming for 0.1W standby seems like a more sustainable goal.