Regulatory News

Energy Star: Computers Version 8.0 Final Specification

Oct. 17 2019

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is pleased to share the final Version 8.0 ENERGY STAR Computer Specification. EPA would like to thank the many stakeholders who have invested time and effort to contribute feedback that has informed this product specification process. These Version 8.0 requirements will take effect on July 15, 2020. This letter provides highlights of the new requirements and outlines the transition process.

The Version 8.0 specification will recognize the top performing desktop computer and integrated desktop products on the market. Notebooks and thin clients were not impacted by this specification revision as criteria for these products were amended as part of Version 7.1. ENERGY STAR certified computers will use, on average, approximately 50% less energy than standard desktop computers. If all desktop computers sold in the United States were ENERGY STAR certified, the cost savings would grow to nearly $300 million each year and nearly 5 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions would be prevented, equivalent to the emissions from nearly 500 thousand vehicles.

EPA has made some minor editorial changes to the final specification at the request of stakeholders. In particular, EPA made more clear that thin clients and workstations are not subject to resume time requirements and clarified that in order to obtain the ALLOWANCEProxy adder under Option 1, the desktop computer must meet ECMA 393 full capability. These edits are intended to improve understanding of the requirements. EPA did receive comments on the final draft specification requesting additional leniency on the criteria, particularly those for integrated desktops. EPA considered the requests, which included requests for supplemental adders for touch screen capabilities, but found that performance and market data did not support these changes and they worked against the Agency goals of delivering national energy savings and recognizing leadership products. EPA has provided more detailed responses to these requests in the accompanying comment response matrix.

Version 8.0 Transition Timeline and Next Steps
EPA shares partners’ desire for a smooth transition from one ENERGY STAR specification to the next so that consumer expectations are met and ENERGY STAR labeled products fully meet the new requirements upon their effective date. With this in mind, EPA has established the following timeline.

  • Effective immediately, manufacturers may elect to have their Certification Body (CB) certify eligible products to the Version 8.0 requirements.
  • After March 2, 2020, CBs will be instructed to stop certifying new product submittals to Version 7.1. Note, however, that existing certifications to Version 7.1 will remain valid for the purposes of ENERGY STAR certification until July 15, 2020.
    • Note that the ENERGY STAR test method has not changed substantially and therefore, there will be little need for the retesting of products for Version 8.0. Only the very few products with cyclical behavior, where the test method has changed, are expected to need to be retested.
  • Any computer manufactured as of July 15, 2020, must meet the Version 8.0 requirements to bear the ENERGY STAR mark. All certifications of products to the Version 7.1 specification will be invalid for purposes of ENERGY STAR and CBs will only submit product models certified to Version 8.0 to EPA.
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