From 1 July, computers and power supplies sold in the European Union will have to meet certain requirements. Only devices that are new to the market are affected. Already produced PCs and power supplies are exempted from the so-called Ecodesign Directive.
The European Union’s Ecodesign Directive for Computers and Power Supplies ( PDF ) entered into force on 1 July. It sets guidelines for maximum power consumption and efficiency per year.
old-disused-desktop-pc-shutterstock-800The EU has divided desktop systems into four categories. Class B includes desktop computers with two cores and at least 2 GB of memory. In class C are devices with three or more cores with at least 2 GB of RAM and / or a dedicated graphics card. Class D includes systems with at least four cores with over 4 GB of RAM and / or a dedicated graphics card. Class A includes all systems that can not be assigned to other categories.
In one year, class A equipment may not consume more than 133 kWh. In class B the limit is 158 kWh, in class C 188 kWh and in class D 211 kWh. From January 2016, the limits will be tightened again. Then class A may only take up 94 kWH, class B 112 kWh, class C 134 kWh and class D 150 kWh.
In addition, the Ecodesign Directive requires all new computers to be in hibernate or similar mode with immediate effect. The current consumption must not exceed 5 watts. When switched off, the maximum value is limited to 1 watt. In addition, power supplies with more than 75 watts installed in consumer PCs have to achieve an efficiency of 82, 85 and 82 percent at 20, 50 and 100 percent utilization.
In addition, manufacturers must provide information on the energy efficiency class in their manuals and freely accessible websites from 1 July. The power consumption in the off, idle and idle state must also be specified. In addition, the Ecodesign Directive provides for the efficiency of internal and external power supplies. However, the regulation does not regulate how much energy a system absorbs under full load. The EU’s Ecodesign Directive includes consumer devices as well as workstations and servers.
The European Commission wants to set minimum standards for the computer industry with the Ecodesign Directive. According to estimates by the EU Commission, the measures will lead to energy savings of at least 12.5 terawatt hours per year in the future. That’s equivalent to the output of 16 medium-sized coal-fired power plants or the CO2 emissions of 2.5 million cars. The Federal Government for the Environment and Nature Conservation Germany (BUND) welcomes the action of the EU.
“Ideally, the requirements are set in such a way that manufacturers have to stretch their efforts to reach them. But they should be set so that they are realistically achievable and in the end only the worst and most inefficient, ie the current chillers, at the entry into force of the market ‘cut off’. We are talking about the so-called ‘push’ mechanism, “said Robert Pörschmann, BUND energy expert, on request from ITespresso.
The BUND is also of the opinion that the “pull mechanism” should also be used. The plan is to highlight particularly economical devices in the market in order to create further incentives for energy-saving and environmentally friendly computers. “That’s what the so-called ‘energy label’ stands for, which you know from refrigerators and televisions. Unfortunately, computers have failed to introduce a comparable label, which we greatly regret and criticize, “continued Pörschmann. A study commissioned by the BUND in 2013 shows that consumers also want similar labeling on computers.