You cannot miss the ENERGY STAR® labels. The distinctive white letters-on-blue square can be found on many products, from appliances like washers and dryers and medical monitors, to the latest high-rise buildings. While many shoppers simply ignore them, to many more they’re an essential requirement for personal reasons or as part of a company’s green initiatives.

Today’s post covers what ENERGY STAR is, the principles guiding product testing, and how computer manufacturers and other industries can obtain it.


Simply put, ENERGY STAR is a rating system for energy efficiency. A creation of the US government, the program is administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE).

The goal of the ENERGY STAR program is twofold: 

The first is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants. According to one estimate, the combined industrial, commercial, and residential usage of electricity accounts for up to 60 percent of emissions. That’s much higher than the transportation sector, which accounts for up to 28 percent and is usually considered the number one culprit of greenhouse gasses. 

ENERGY STAR aims to bring these figures down. This is done by encouraging consumers and manufacturers to be more efficient with their energy use. 

The second builds on the first by providing consumers and businesses with unbiased information about the energy efficiency of products they may be looking to purchase. Every buyer has a reason why they want their products to be energy efficient, whether to save on their power bills or meet mandated green initiatives. ENERGY STAR makes the process much easier. 

Below are samples of ENERGY STAR-certified products and their savings:

  • Room air conditioners, which use 15 to 26 percent less energy than non-ENERGY STAR AC units.
  • Light bulbs that use up to 90 percent less energy than standard bulbs. They also produce 70 to 90 percent less heat and last up to 15 times longer. 
  • Residential telephones which are 40 percent more efficient than similar non-ENERGY STAR phones. 
  • Enterprise servers for businesses that consume 30 percent less power than conventional servers. 
  • Vending machines which are 40 percent more energy-efficient than standard ones.

So, a shopper looking at ENERGY STAR medical computers will find they use 25 to 40 percent less electricity thanks to more efficient components and energy-saving features. This can be a boon for medical facilities like hospitals, which operate 24/7. 

More ENERGY STAR consumer business products can be found on the official website. Even residential homes, commercial buildings, and industrial plants can receive the ENERGY STAR label. 

It should be noted all products receiving the ENERGY STAR label have the same features as their non-labeled counterparts. There is no sacrifice in performance and comfort to obtain the label. 

Qualifying for the ENERGY STAR Label

The EPA created the criteria for a product to earn the ENERGY STAR label. 

Because the categories and products can vary so much (for example, a hospital building, a commercial oven, a medical tablet, etc.), the federal agency uses the following key principles as a guide

  • Product categories must contribute significant energy savings nationwide.
  • Certified products must deliver the features and performance demanded by consumers, in addition to increased energy efficiency.
  • If the certified product costs more than a conventional, less-efficient counterpart, purchasers will recover their investment in increased energy efficiency through utility bill savings, within a reasonable period of time.
  • Energy efficiency can be achieved through broadly available, non-proprietary technologies offered by more than one manufacturer.
  • Product energy consumption and performance can be measured and verified with testing.
  • Labeling would effectively differentiate products and be visible to purchasers.

Based on the above principles, the EPA writes up the specific tests for that category and product. These detail how to determine how much less energy the submitted product uses compared to a standard one in that category. If the submission meets the minimum standard (usually a percentage), it is certified to receive the ENERGY STAR label. 

There is no “universal” standard or percentage. Instead, all relevant figures differ per category and product.   

To maintain impartiality, all testing is done by third-party companies vetted by the EPA.

So how does a manufacturer get an ENERGY STAR label? For products like a computer, it involves:

  • Signing a formal agreement with the EPA for the label.
  • Providing the product or products to an EPA-approved third party to be certified for energy efficiency. For computers, this figure ranges between 25 to 40 percent more efficiency than standard models. 
  • The third-party company tests the product based on EPA standards, which is currently ES8.0. If the product passes, it is certified and can display the ENERGY STAR label. 

Residential new construction, commercial buildings, and industrial plants have their own unique testing criteria. A significant difference: the third-party companies come onsite to perform the qualifying tests. 

Get Your ENERGY STAR Computers Through Cybernet

The federal government developed ENERGY STAR to encourage consumers and businesses to be more energy efficient, which could lead to decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. Aided by its principals, the EPA developed tests for various categories and products like office equipment and computers. 

Contact an expert at Cybernet if your business is looking for certified, energy-efficient computer products and monitors. We’ll cover how and why our ENERGY STAR products like the Cybermed G15 qualified for the label. We’re sure you’ll find our products meet your energy-efficiency needs without sacrificing features or suffering a performance loss. 

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