German tech site Igor's Lab points out that 80 PLUS is hiking its prices next year. While 80 PLUS has its flaws, it's become so ubiquitous that the logo carries a lot of value to a lot of enthusiasts. But to get 80 PLUS certified, power supply companies have to pay a lot of money to get units tested.
The company behind 80 PLUS has reportedly announced a significant price increase that will go into effect in 2021. While the impact may not be that big for PSUs that are sold in large volumes, there may be a noticeable impact on the pricing of lower-volume PSUs:
Plug Load Solutions has reportedly increased its per-SKU certification price by 3x. For a new model launched after 2021, this would mean an increase in flat licensing fees by tens of thousands of Dollars. If a manufacturer launched a PSU in 450 W, 550 W, 650 W, 750 W, 850 W, and 1000 W, they pay a flat $21,000. Interestingly, Igor's Lab reports that a manufacturer has to pay the licensing fees even for an OEM/whitebox PSU model that has already been certified by 80 Plus. The "OEM" here refers to the likes of CWT, Seasonic, HEC, Fortron, etc., who contract-manufacture PSUs for others. If a generic 650 W certified model is re-branded by a manufacturer, it incurs re-brand licensing fees.
Whether manufacturers will dare to drop 80 PLUS remains to be seen.