The Global View

Tougher product guidelines aim to save $1.8 billion

Energy Star Energy Star, which sets guidelines on how eco-friendly electrical goods are, is forcing manufacturers to make computers greener or face losing the right to sell products with the organisation’s famous logo.

The scheme’s aim has always been to help consumers quickly identify which products are more energy efficient – it started out on PCs and monitors in 1992 (remember the stickers on the bottom of your computer screen?) – and last week the requirements were upped a notch:

  • Since computers are in use many more hours per day than in the past, ENERGY STAR has strengthened its requirements to better save energy among computers and related equipment under today’s usage patterns. Qualified products must now meet energy use guidelines in three distinct operating modes: standby, sleep mode, and while computers are being used. This approach ensures energy savings when a computer is active and performing a range of tasks, as well as when standing by. Newly qualified computers must also include a more efficient internal power supply.
  • By requiring efficiency savings across operating modes, the new computer specification is expected to save consumers and businesses more than $1.8 billion in energy costs over the next 5 years and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equal to the annual emissions of 2.7 million vehicles.