Workshop on Proposed Appliance Energy Efficiency Standards

The California Energy Commission held a workshop today on the proposed standards for computers, monitors, and signage displays.

The proposal would potentially save about 2,500 gigawatt hours per year and reduce utility bills more than $400 million annually by 2024. This is enough electricity savings to power all the homes in San Francisco for a year.

Public workshops and meetings with industry were held following the 2015 release of the first proposal. The feedback led to a revised proposal that was released in March 2016. Some changes include the following:

  •  Additional detail was added to clarify the scope of the standards to include notebooks, desktops, thin-clients, small-scale servers, and workstations. The definitions make it clear that tablets, industrial computers, and game consoles are not covered.
  •  Modifications to the ENERGY STAR® test procedure were added. 
  • For desktop computers, several allowances for additional energy use were made. These include specialized units using specialty graphics, expandability, memory, hard-drives, and integrated displays. 
  • Power management language was added to exempt computers sold without an operating system.
  • Small volume manufacturers can be exempt from most manufacturing aspects of the standards.
Monitors and displays:
  • The standards will only cover monitors and displays with screen sizes of more than 17 inches. 
  • Food and Drug Administration-approved life-saving medical devices are excluded from the standards.
  • Professional signage displays that are found in many stadiums are excluded due to the limited data available on their energy use. 
  • An update to ENERGY STAR® version 7.0 test procedure.
  • Higher efficiency standards for monitors in sleep and off modes.

Stakeholders, industry representatives, and the public attended the workshop to provide input about the current proposal. Comments on the proposal are due May 16 and can be submitted online. The comments will guide changes to the staff analysis and proposed standards.

The Energy Commission is expected to adopt the proposed standards by the end of the year.

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California Energy Commission

The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency created by the Legislature in 1974.
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