New Energy Star ratings for PCs on the way

The Energy Star program is set to release the first revision to the specification for PCs since 1992, which was practically the Bronze Age of the PC industry. Energy Star stickers are familiar to those who have shopped for household appliances over the last few years; it designates appliances or electronics that meet certain specifications for energy efficiency.

The Energy Star program–a joint project of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy–is most important to government and corporate buyers, Abelson said. The government is required to purchase Energy Star-labeled products, and corporations can receive tax breaks for purchasing Energy Star products. Plus, the power saved by using efficient products really adds up when looking across a large network of PCs, allowing those organizations to cut on power bills or expand their hardware at the same cost.

The new specification targets two areas: the power supply and the amount of power used in “idle mode,” said Noah Horowitz, a senior scientist at the nonprofit National Resources Defense Council, which helped the Energy Star program come up with the technical requirements for the new specification.

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