Computers and Battery Backup Systems


Computer and computer systems (battery backup systems) is a broad category that includes laptop computers, desktop computers, desktop computer monitors, servers and UPSs (uninterruptible power supplies.)


Although there are no national standards for computers, there are ENERGY STAR specifications for these products. The 2012 ASAP/ACEEE report, The Efficiency Boom, analyzed standard levels based on the ENERGY STAR version 5.0 specifications. Computers meeting ENERGY STAR 5.0 save up to 65% compared to the least efficient new products. Typical improvements to achieve these savings include improved power management and more efficient individual components. There are no known incremental costs associated with more efficient computers. DOE issued a request for information in early 2012 and a proposed determination of coverage in February 2014.

The California Energy Commission opened a rulemaking for computers in 2012. A final rule is expected in 2016 or 2017.


DOE calculated that the average annual energy use for a desktop computer is 220 kilowatt hours (kWh) and 62 kWh for a portable computer. DOE notes that 63% of U.S. households own a desktop computer and 65% own a notebook, laptop, or netbook computer.

Projected Savings

Computer Equipment
Savings through what year?:
Energy saved (quads):
CO2 savings (million metric tons):
Net present value savings ($billion) 3% discount rate:
Net present value savings ($billion) 7% discount rate:


Federal Date States
2019 CA Standard Effective
2016 CA Standard Adopted

Timeline reflects state standards from 2001 to present; federal standards from inception to present.