New energy saving seal divulges power guzzlers

COMPUTERBILD launches electricity savings campaign / Consumer guidance in choosing electricity-saving appliances / Federal Environment Agency and No-Energy support campaign / Need for action as EU electricity-saving seal is still outstanding / Praise from

Hamburg/Berlin/Haan, 1 March 2010 - Variations on the theme of GreenIT are once again in fashion at this year’s CeBIT trade fair in Hannover. Producers are introducing low-energy computers-which have up to now mostly been relegated to a niche existence on the market. This is all the more reason for consumers to have a look at power consumption when shopping at retailers’ for consumer electronics, discount and online shops for standard computers.  COMPUTERBILD magazine is now featuring guidelines: annual electricity costs are graded based on a practical formula. This will come with a seal ranking energy efficiency on a scale of “very good“ to “poor”.


The range in power use of modern computers could hardly be more extreme. What is more, high performance does not necessarily mean high electricity use, or greater costs. According to the test data by COMPUTERBILD, there are devices with similar performance but with a difference in annual electricity cost of about 40 euros; more specifically, roughly 20 euros vs 60. In sum, paying attention to energy use when purchasing a computer can add up to great savings and climate protection.

A seal is now an easy way for consumers to verify operating costs and grade received when making a purchase decision. It is also an appeal to producers to request this seal from COMPUTERBILD and educate their customers. The lower the electricity consumption and the higher the grade, the greater the advertising effect.

Practical and dynamic calculation formula

COMPUTERBILD based its formula for calculation of electricity costs on representative use of equipment. In the case of desktop computers, this includes average length of use as well as various development levels. It is as follows: four hours where the computer is on and used for various purposes, where the PC is in no-load operation 50 percent of the time, in use 40 percent of the time (for word processing, picture management); and 10 percent of full-capacity operation (f.e. for gaming). There are an additional four hours of standby time, and in the remaining 16 hours the computer is switched off.

The most attractive aspect is the ranking: the marking scale is dynamically designed to adapt to current developments- which is something strict policy guidelines cannot do. When new devices with low-energy consumption raise the bar it will be more difficult for next-generation devices to get a high mark. Average electricity price is also adjusted regularly.

EU labeling in progress - implementation unresolved

The magazine editors and the No-Energy initiative, along with the Federal Environment Agency, already launched the Stromsparer! (Energy Saver!) seal in early 2004. It was only granted to devices that had an actual ‘off’ switch and consume no more than 1 watt in standby mode. These requirements have in the meantime been taken up in an EU Directive. However, a consumer-friendly form of electricity use labeling, similar to the energy efficiency class system for large household appliances, has long been a policy issue. This is reason enough to now put a clear and simple award model into place.

COMPUTERBILD is not alone: gaining ground through committed support

The Federal Environment Agency is supporting the COMPUTERBILD campaign. “COMPUTERBILD‘s new seal acts as a good means of orientation for purchase of power-saving IT devices. Desktop computers in particular must become more efficient and take the lead from notebooks, which are already more efficient“, said Jochen Flasbarth, President of the Federal Environment Agency. Clemens Hölter, head of the No-Energy campaign, also expresses support for the new seal “in the hope that many consumers will ask about in the shops“.

Impetus from Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND) environmental association, positive feedback from Öko-Institut (Institute for Applied Ecology)

The idea for the measure mainly came from Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND), who called for a binding energy labeling system and has praised the energy saving campaign. Christian Noll, energy efficiency expert at BUND remarks, “Consumers have long waited in vain for a sensible computer electricity consumption labeling system. The labeling used by Computerbild is exemplary of how it can work. Brussels must now take the next step”. Jens Gröger, research assistant at the Öko-Institut e.V. adds, “What a great idea by Computerbild. Now the buyer can choose the lowest energy using device from the start, and thus save money and the climate.”

To mark the launch of the energy saving campaign the editorial office is issuing information on the usage for desktop computers. Other types of devices such as notebooks, monitors and printers and their own criteria are to follow. Furthermore, the seal will also soon be used by AUDIO VIDEO FOTO BILD magazine. The publication tests consumer electronics such as televisions, DVD players and receivers. A certified testing laboratory records the electricity consumption values for all the devices.


The Federal Environment Agency booth will present its campaign in Hall 8 at this year’s CeBIT.


Daniel Rasch
Phone: +49 40-34 06 88 21

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Martin Ittershagen
Phone: +49 340-21 03-21 22

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Clemens Hölter
Phone: +49 2129-510 11

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