Due to the lag in formulating a new certification, more than 90 percent of PCs currently on the market are eligible for an Energy Star sticker. But come July, a new voluntary specification will go into effect for energy-efficient PCs and game consoles that includes new recommendations for power supply efficiency and idle power consumption.
And later this year, a similar specification update is planned for flat-screen televisions, targeting the increasing popularity of energy-hogging TVs. The idea is to encourage companies to make more energy-efficient products without imposing requirements, said Jill Abelson, a representative for the Energy Star-labeled-products program.
But the program also sheds light on the growing power bill required to run a modern household of electronic gear, not to mention the power requirements for even an average-size business. "With energy costs escalating, everybody's really on the climate bandwagon and looking at it carefully," Abelson said. "Efficiency really matters."
The new specifications for PCs are designed to distinguish the top 25 percent of all PCs as measured by energy consumption, Abelson said.