Energy Star's new stricter v4 specs (Updated)

Greenpeace is going to have a field day with this one.The love/hate relationship that environmentalists have with Apple Inc.

Energy Star logo
Greenpeace is going to have a field day with this one.

The love/hate relationship that environmentalists have with Apple Inc. took a turn for the worst on 20 July when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy tightened their requirements for their Energy Star program. The bad news that not a single Mac is eligible to carry the Energy Star badge under the new, stricter specs.

Update: according to TalkBack comments below, the Mac mini and the MacBook do, in fact, meet the new Energy Star guidelines although they aren't mentioned on the government's Excel spreadsheet.

The joint program's stated purpose is "helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices." The new specifications are expected to save consumers and businesses more than $1.8 billion in energy costs over the next five years and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equal to the annual emissions of 2.7 million vehicles.

The new specifications include:

  • Use of energy efficient power supply. Desktops must use power supplies that are 80% efficient
  • Operate efficiently in Standby/Off, Sleep, and Idle modes. Desktops must use less than 2 watts in standby mode
  • Include and enable power management features of the system and provide user education about these feature

According to FloppyHead.com only about 125 122 desktops and laptops currently meet the new stringent requirements. Dell only has three machines on the list and Lenovo and Gateway currently have the most models meeting the new criteria. The list of computers is available as an Excel spreadsheet.

Manufacturers have known of these changes for months. so it's somewhat surprising that Apple has no computers available that meet the new specifications. The upside is that manufacturers have until January to have their products certified as Energy Star compliant, and we all know what happens in January.

Update 2: According to the Apple' and the Environment Web site:

Apple’s products are designed to minimize energy consumption and meet requirements set by FEMP and Top-Runner. Apple products designed to meet ENERGY STAR® conform with the requirements set out in the stricter Energy Star 4.0 version covering portables, desktops and workstations.

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