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Published on October 22nd, 2007 | by Stephanie Evans


Energy Star Computing

Practically every computer sold nowadays comes with some sort of power management utility built into the operating system.  However, in order to be deemed an ENERGY STAR computer, certain criteria must be met.

ENERGY STAR is a rating given by the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy to products that have proven to be more energy efficient by exceeding federal standards for energy consumption by a set amount.  When looking at green computing, it is important that the computers and monitors you purchase have the ENERGY STAR approval.

While the criteria is different for the various different appliances, when it comes to computers, those earning the ENERGY STAR rating must power down to a sleep mode that uses 15 Watts or less electricity.  When running at this state, the computer uses 70 percent less energy than it does when it is fully powered up.  Computer monitors have a bit more stringent criteria—ENERGY STAR monitors must shut down into two successive sleep modes.  In the first mode, the power consumption must be less than or equal to 15 Watts.  In its second sleep mode, the power consumption must reduce to 8 Watts.

Although 98 percent of all computers have power management systems put into place, it is estimated that only 5 percent of them have been configured.  Unless the end user configures this feature, ENERGY STAR or not, the computer does not reduce its energy use.

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