Back in 2010, I wrote how ENERGY STAR was getting close to incorporating a spec for video game
consoles into its requirement for computers. (See blog: ENERGY STAR Getting Closer to Energy Efficiency
Spec for Game Consoles.) Not long after that, the effort was put on hold.
As things began moving again this summer, rather than including games into the computer spec, or
creating a separate video games efficiency program specification, the EPA is proposing a different
approach: an “EPA Recognition” program. The EPA recognition will be in lieu of ENERGY STAR labeling.
Why the change of direction to curb video game power consumption? Typically, ENERGY STAR looks at
the top 25% most efficient products in a given category and uses that as the baseline for setting its
requirement. In gaming, where there are few models from a limited number of suppliers, this hasn’t
worked. The recognition process takes a much more individualized approach.
To be recognized by the EPA, game manufacturers first sign a commitment to meet final efficiency
criteria specified in the EPA Performance Requirements and Test Method (soon to be released). The EPA
then recognizes products that meet the energy efficiency criteria as they become available on the
As part of the recognition, the EPA will promote the recognition through the Consumer Electronics
Association (CEA) and through social media.
It will be interesting to see how this alternate approach will play out. Video game efficiency is certainly a
hot subject these days. According to a study conducted by the Electric Power Research Institute of Palo
Alto, CA, even though efficiency has improved, the majority of consoles still consume well over 80 watts
in active mode.
To read more: EPA Game Console recognition Opportunity.