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CLASP and Partners’ Computer Analyses Provide New Insights for US Energy Efficiency Policies

In an effort to support the California Energy Commission (CEC) and the US Department of Energy (DOE) in developing new energy efficiency standards for computers, CLASP collected and analyzed computer performance data for products that are not registered under the US ENERGY STAR program – hitherto the only resource for US computer performance data.

The two resulting analyses, Energy Consumption of Computers in the Chinese Market and Energy Consumption of Gaming Computers in the US Market collectively demonstrate that a significant share of non-ENERGY STAR qualified computers sold in the US already meet the typical energy consumption (TEC) requirements for ENERGY STAR Version 6 (v6).

Due to the scarcity of public data on non-ENERGY STAR qualifying computers in the US, CLASP collected data on China’s computer market, which significantly overlaps with the US in terms of manufacturers and models – providing relevant information for the US market. Additionally, the project team – consisting of CLASP, Fiona Brocklehurst, and Jonathan Wood – collected technical specifications and performance data for 128 gaming computer models sold in the US to assess the ability of high-performance gaming computers to meet the TEC requirements for ENERGY STAR v6.

The project team analyzed both sets of data with reference to ENERGY STAR requirements, and drew the following key conclusions. As of August, 2013:

Despite differences in test methodology, which both analyses address in detail, the data suggests that a significant number of computers in the US market already meet TEC requirements for ENERGY STAR v6.

CLASP has submitted both reports to the DOE and CEC for consideration in their respective standard development processes. CEC plans to release a first draft of its proposed minimum energy performance standards this month.

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