Changes Considered in ENERGY STAR Computers Version 8.0 Draft 1

Mon, 05/20/2019 - 09:58 -- MrGreen

The standard for ENERGY STAR® Computers is under revision, and on April 16, representatives from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held a webinar with stakeholders to discuss proposed updates in Draft 1 of ENERGY STAR Computers Version 8.0. According to the EPA, market penetration for desktop computers is currently 52% and for workstations 21%. As such, the EPA is proposing more stringent ENERGY STAR criteria for desktop products, consolidating desktop categories, reducing base allowances, and adjusting adders and mode weightings based on more recent data. For workstations, the EPA plans to maintain the existing energy requirements from Version 7.1.

As part of Draft 1, there is a new definition for the multi-screen notebook and new scope exclusion for handheld tablets with cellular voice capability.

Regarding the Internal Power Supply (IPS) requirement, the EPA is proposing that the 80Plus Gold equivalent introduced in Version 7 for products with >500 W nameplate rating be extended to all products with internal power supplies. In other words, all internal power supplies would need to meet 87% minimum efficiency at the 20% and 100% loading conditions (percentage of nameplate output current) and 90% minimum efficiency and 0.90 minimum power factor at the 50% loading condition.

For the Energy Efficiency Ethernet (EEE) requirement, the proposal is that all Ethernet ports in a product with a throughput of 1 Gb/s or higher must ship with EEE enabled.

Mode weighting adjustments were also considered for Desktops, Integrated Desktops, Notebooks, Workstations, and Thin Clients. For Desktops and Integrated Desktops, data has allowed the EPA to separate long and short idle from sleep and further refine proposed values, i.e. 15% for Toff, 45% for Tsleep, 10% for Tlong-idle, and 30% for Tshort-idle. For Notebooks, the EPA continues to solicit feedback but will delay implementation until Version 9 because of certain complications in mapping the weightings. For Workstations, new values have been proposed based on new data, i.e. 10% for Toff, 35% for Tsleep, 20% for Tlong-idle, and 35% for Tshort-idle. For Thin Clients, existing mode weightings from Version 7.1 have been carried over.

For Base TEC Allowances for Desktops and Integrated Desktops, I1 and I2 integrated graphics categories will be merged into a single category, while the existing I3 category will be renamed I2. Moreover, the performance score boundary between categories I1 and I2 will be switched from 9 to 8 to yield a better distribution of system scores.

The EPA is also proposing changes to functional adders for desktops. Specifically, the Version 7.1 memory adder will be applied across all product types. The CEC desktop discrete graphics adder will be applied to desktop and integrated desktop products. Storage device adders will be made consistent across all product types and cover four storage types. The integrated display adder for integrated desktops will be aligned with the ENERGY STAR Displays Version 8 specification.

Finally, test method updates include a clarification on how to test products with cycling behavior like charging cycles for notebooks, a proposal for spinning down secondary drives during short idle testing, and an additional test to measure sleep to wake latency.

The EPA plans to hold an in-person meeting on June 18 in Washington, D.C. to pave the way to publishing Draft 2 in July. The Final Draft and Specification Release for Version 8.0 aim for later this year, with a goal for an effective date of July 2020.

Webinar slides and related materials are available on the Computers Web page:

Stakeholder feedback and comments can be sent to