Relevance and Backround
The “ Energy Star” is a programme of the US Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Office-equipments with low energy consumption are labelled world wide with this sign. An EU Energy Star Programme for office equipment has been created since 2002 due to the international agreement between the European Commission and the US-EPA. EC and US-EPA define together the criteria for the covered appliances.
Consistent Labelling of energy efficient products
The Energy Star in the USA covers a wide range of products, ranging from new homes, most of the buildings sector, residential heating and cooling equipment, major appliances, office equipment, lighting to consumer electronics. The Energy Star in the EU is so far only applied to office equipment (monitors, computers and operating systems, fax machines, scanners, copiers and printers).
Awarding Institution & criteria
ENERGY STAR is a US-registered service mark owned by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). EPA partnered with the US Department of Energy in 1996 to promote the ENERGY STAR label, with each agency taking responsibility for particular product categories.
Within the EU, the participation in the Energy Star programme is voluntary; applications to become a programme participant may be submitted to the European Commission. The European Commission, in co-operation with the Member States, has established a European Union Energy Star Board (EUESB) for the implementation and promotion of the programme.
For each labelled product, certain energy efficiency criteria are defined (Annex of the Agreement), e.g. for computers, they automatically enter a low-power “sleep” mode after a period of inactivity, have energy-efficiency specifications based on power supply and include mechanisms through which the low-power modes of qualified monitors can be activated.
The products identified by the Energy Star logo are tested at the participants’ installations or by an independent testing laboratory. The EUESB may also test or examine products in order to verify whether they comply with the specifications set out in the Agreement.
Relevance on the market
With the new criteria the Energy Star presents dedicated requirements to distinguish the best 25 % of the appliances per product group – The previous criteria have been much less dedicated and covered a range of about 80% of the market. The new requirements include total energy consumption beneath idle, stand-by and sleep mode. Due to the relevance of the Energy Star on the world wide market it scan be assumed, that enough appliances will fulfil the requirements. Thus, the Energy Star criteria are strongly recommended as minimum requirements for every procurement decisions – as it is obligatory for public procurement of the US federal ministries.