On February 16, 2018, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized its revision to the ENERGY STAR specification for computers. Computers were among the first products to be eligible for the ENERGY STAR in 1992, and this seventh version of the requirements demonstrates EPA’s commitment to incentivizing efficiency in the equipment businesses and consumers use every day.
This specification improves the energy efficiency of notebook and thin client computers by reducing the base amount of energy consumed and the allowances for common features such as memory and graphics. Efficiency requirements for internal power supplies with a rated output above 500 W have also been increased. Under the new requirements, small-scale servers will no longer be eligible for the ENERGY STAR.
The updated criteria will recognize the top performing computers among a broad mix of product types on the market. ENERGY STAR certified computers will use, on average, approximately 25% less energy than standard notebook computers. If all computers sold in the United States were ENERGY STAR certified, the cost savings would grow to nearly $600 million each year and more than 8 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions would be prevented, equivalent to the emissions from over 800 thousand vehicles.