503-525-2700, ext. 165; 503-730-1497 (cell)
Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance
503-827-8416, ext. 223
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
80 PLUS® Program Pushes Market to Improve Computer Energy
HP First Major PC Manufacturer to Support Program
Portland, Ore.– Nov. 20, 2006–The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA)
funded the 80 PLUS® Program in 2004 to encourage computer manufacturers to
dramatically improve the energy efficiency of their machines by installing highly
efficient power supplies –the devices that convert alternating current (AC) into direct
NEEA was the first of 12 utility organizations in the U.S. and Canada to sponsor the
Program. A major milestone was recently reached, signaling initial Program success.
HP, the world’s largest PC vendor, announced that it plans to offer customers an 80
PLUS certified power supply option on its 7000 and 5000 Series of business PCs as early
as January 2007. This action marks a major milestone for NEEA and the 80 PLUS
Program as a whole.
“The 80 PLUS effort clearly demonstrates that electric utilities and market transformation
organizations can have a profound effect on the market place,” said Jon Thomsen,
program director for Ecos Consulting, the company that manages the 80 PLUS Program.
“We thank the early adopters like NEEA who were integral in building the Program’s
80 PLUS sets the standard for what constitutes an energy-efficient power supply,
meaning it is power factor corrected and at least 80 percent efficient in the AC-DC
conversion process. The 80 PLUS Program certifies the power supplies and pays
incentives to computer manufacturers for computers that use them to help cover the
incremental cost of the better product. On average, 80 PLUS qualified computer models
use 15 percent to 25 percent less electricity than typical computers.
“The 80 PLUS Program intrigued us,” said Margaret Gardner, NEEA executive director.
“The initiative addressed power consumption when the computer is actually in use, not
just in ‘sleep’ or ‘standby’ mode, the traditional targets to gain energy savings in
consumer and office electronics.”
When the Program first launched in autumn 2004, it had only one sponsor, one certified
power supply and little interest in participating from the major computer manufacturers.
Today, there are 87 power supplies from 22 manufacturers certified 80 PLUS. In addition
to HP, there are 14 other participating computer manufacturers currently offering
qualified computer models to customers.
“We are pleased to be the first major computer manufacturer to support the 80 PLUS
Program,” said Jeff Groudan, vice president of Business PC Marketing, Personal Systems
Group, HP. “It is part of our commitment to offering customers a variety of affordable,
energy-efficient desk-based products to help reduce their total cost of technology
Nearly all desktop computers and desktop-derived servers can take advantage of more
efficient drop-in power supplies to cost-effectively cut energy consumption without
costly, time-consuming redesigns of the entire computer. Consumers gain considerable
benefits from 80 PLUS certified power supplies:
• Utility bill savings over the life of the computer are typically $25 to $30 for
desktop computers running eight hours a day, five days a week (more if the
computers are not turned off) and more than $100 for desktop-derived servers.
• The reduced heat output and improvements in power quality can increase the
overall computer reliability by up to 40 percent.
• Reduced heat output also decreases a building’s cooling demand–another
important tactic in addressing peak power demands.
• Power factor correction reduces the cost of providing electrical service and helps
to minimize interference and losses in the wiring within a building, an important
benefit for utilities and large commercial and institutional customers.
Additionally, highly efficient power supplies are a key element of the recently released
Version 4.0 ENERGY STAR® Computer Specification. ENERGY STAR is a joint
program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of
Energy. Products that have earned the ENERGY STAR rating save energy and prevent
greenhouse gas emissions by meeting strict energy efficiency guidelines. The new
ENERGY STAR computer specification features comprehensive performance
requirements across all modes of a computer’s operation and requires use of a power
supply that meets the 80 PLUS standard. The ENERGY STAR specification addresses
desktop and notebook computers, workstations, integrated computers, desktop-derived
servers and game consoles. It will go into effect July 20, 2007. For more information
about the new ENERGY STAR specification, visit
The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA), Portland, Ore., is a non-profit
corporation supported by electric utilities, public benefits administrators, state
governments, public interest groups and energy efficiency industry representatives. These
entities work together to make affordable, energy-efficient products and services
available in the marketplace. This unique partnership has helped make the Northwest
region a national leader in energy efficiency. (www.nwalliance.org)
About the 80 PLUS® Program
The 80 PLUS Program was designed and is administered by Ecos Consulting
(www.ecosconsulting.com), Portland, Ore., an energy efficiency firm that leverages the
power of the market to accelerate sales of energy-efficient technologies. Electric utilities
and energy efficiency organizations across North America joined 80 PLUS to help offset
the extra cost of making desktop computers and desktop-derived servers more energy-
efficient. The sponsor utilities save electricity for less than the cost of generating it, and
computer purchasers get more energy-efficient machines with better power quality for
little or no extra cost compared to a computer with a conventional power supply. The 80
PLUS Program offers manufacturers of desktop computers and desktop-derived servers
$5 and $10 incentives respectively for every unit containing a certified power supply that
is sold in participating sponsors’ service territories.
Program sponsors and supporters include the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance,
Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Sacramento Municipal
Utility District, NStar, Efficiency Vermont, National Grid, NYSERDA, Midwest Energy
Efficiency Alliance, Xcel Energy, Western Massachusetts Electric, Hydro Quebec and
Natural Resources Canada. Together, financial incentives available total more than $5
million. For a complete list of participating computer manufacturers and certified power
supply models, visit www.80PLUS.org.