Products that save energy & help prevent climate change


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Computers An ENERGY STAR qualified computer delivers substantial savings over a conventional computer. Desktop, integrated desktop, and notebook (laptop) computers, workstations, small-scale servers, and thin clients are all eligible to earn the ENERGY STAR, and those that do are now more efficient than ever.

EPA has strengthened the requirements for computers earning the ENERGY STAR in Version 5.0. For Desktop/integrated desktop and notebook computers, products must meet stringent TEC (typical energy consumption) requirements for estimated annual energy consumption. Small-scale servers and thin clients must meet energy use guidelines in "off" and "idle" modes of operation, and thin clients supporting sleep functions must meet requirements in this mode as well, to ensure energy savings when computers are being used and performing a range of tasks, as well as when they are turned off or into a low power mode. ENERGY STAR qualified computers must also have efficient internal or external power supplies.

If every home office product purchased in the United States this year met ENERGY STAR requirements, we would:

  • Save more than $100 million in annual energy costs
  • Prevent 1.4 billion pounds of greenhouse gases, equivalent to emissions from 125,000 cars
  • Save more than 900 million kWh of electricity

Power management is important to saving energy, especially since computers are often in use more hours per day than they used to be. ENERGY STAR power management features place computers (CPU, hard drive, etc.) into a low-power "sleep mode" after a designated period of inactivity. Simply hitting a key on the keyboard or moving the mouse awakens the computer in a matter of seconds.

Activating power management features on an ENERGY STAR qualified desktop delivers lifetime energy savings that can go a long way towards paying the cost of a new computer:

How Your Computers are Used Estimated Lifetime (4 yrs) Savings per Desktop Computer
If you pay $.11 per kWh If you pay $.18 per kWh
We typically leave our computers on nights & weekends $88 $144
We typically turn our computers off every night $24 $40
We will activate power management settings on the new computers, but did not do so on the old computers $216 $352

ENERGY STAR qualified laptops save energy, too. To estimate your savings potential, see the ENERGY STAR Office Equipment Savings Calculator.

Federal IT managers and procurement staff should visit Product Purchasing and Computer Power Management for Federal Agencies to learn about saving energy by purchasing ENERGY STAR and EPEAT-registered office equipment and complying with Executive Order 13423.


Current Specification Effective Date: June 2014

Computers originally qualified for the ENERGY STAR label in June, 1992.

An ENERGY STAR qualified computer meeting the new ENERGY STAR specification will use between 30% and 65% less energy, depending on how it is used.

Computers Key Product Criteria: ENERGY STAR

Learn How a Product Earns the Label


When buying a new computer, you should know the following information:

To save the most energy, always ensure that the ENERGY STAR power management features are enabled.

Leaving the computer on around the clock increases electric bills and can cause dust buildup in the machine, making it vulnerable to power surges.

Computers: A well-designed ENERGY STAR qualified computer will not lose its network connection, which could lead to a loss of data, while in the low-power or sleep mode. Additionally, ENERGY STAR qualified computers with networking capabilities have the ability to enable and disable Wake On LAN for Sleep mode, allowing greater use of low power modes without a loss of IT system maintenance capabilities.

Monitors: Only after a display has been used for 20 to 30 years will switching it on and off five times or more per day increase the frequency of faults in power transistors in the control and deflection parts.

Screen Savers: Despite common belief, a screen saver does not save energy. In fact, more often than not, a screen saver will not only draw power for the monitor but will also keep the CPU from shutting down.

Games: Many popular computer games left running in the background while multitasking, will not allow the computer to go to sleep - even if the game is paused.


Did You Know?

If all computers sold in the U.S. met ENERGY STAR requirements, the savings in energy costs would grow to $1.8 billion each year, reducing greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from more than 2 million vehicles.