What is ENERGY STAR and Why Does it Matter for HP Devices?
Anyone who’s shopped for a new computer or related tech has most likely seen the ENERGY STAR® logo attached to certain products. But what does it mean?
Put simply, ENERGY STAR was designed as a way to make it easier for every consumer to shop for environmentally-friendly products. Products that earn the ENERGY STAR rating or certification are held to a higher standard of energy use and emissions, so they provide measurable gains for users.
What is ENERGY STAR?
The original ENERGY STAR system focused on reducing the carbon footprint of PCs and related office equipment, but it now covers everything from kitchen appliances to office buildings. The initiative is overseen by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy.
But what does ENERGY STAR mean for consumers with HP devices? We’ll cover that in detail in this guide to explain how ENERGY STAR minimizes operating expenses and environmental impact for home and business users.
Lower operating expenses
The advantages of ENERGY STAR are easy to see in your monthly bill. When your computer uses less energy, you’ll see cost savings thanks to reduced energy bills compared to your previous setup. This makes the ENERGY STAR certification a great way to guide your shopping habits. These products aren’t just created as a way to save energy, either, because they’re also built to perform.
Whether you’re buying a new home or a new device, chances are you’ll have a set budget for the purchase itself. But when you purchase ENERGY STAR-certified hardware, you know you’ll continue to save down the line as well. In fact, according to ENERGY STAR, in 2018 alone, ENERGY STAR and its partners helped Americans avoid $35 billion in energy costs. Cumulative gains are even more impressive over time as you continue to use less energy and see that smaller utility bill.
The other significant advantage of ENERGY STAR is sustainability, which applies to users in a variety of ways. Of course, the main boost comes from reduced energy use, which mitigates your personal, household, or office carbon footprint. The more you center your shopping on ENERGY STAR certification, the more you can reduce your total carbon footprint over time.
For 2018, in addition to saving billions of dollars, ENERGY STAR products also helped to cut associated emissions. That includes, among other things, 330 million metric tons of greenhouse gases, 220,000 short tons of sulfur dioxide, 210,000 short tons of nitrogen oxides, and 23,000 short tons of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), according to ENERGY STAR.
Put simply, the initiative STAR dramatically reduces the strain on both the environment and on consumers’ wallets.
Shopping for ENERGY STAR products at HP
The HP Store offers a variety of energy-efficient products with ENERGY STAR certification, but you can also look to the HP sustainability buyer's guide to find standout devices in several key categories. You’ll find laptops, desktops, and printers, plus dedicated sections for ink and toner, monitors, and accessories.
You can also find one of HP’s primary recycling portals, which has tons of additional resources on HP Planet Partners and hardware recycling. If you’re primarily interested in learning more about your cartridge recycling options, check out the HP supplies recycling page. But for now, let’s look at a few popular product features from the buyer’s guide.
Product Feature: HP Elite Dragonfly notebook PC
With ENERGY STAR certification and a Gold rating from EPEAT®, the customizable HP Elite Dragonfly notebook PC is an ideal option if you prioritize efficiency and portability. The low-impact power profile and long-life battery make it a great on-the-go notebook for commuters or anyone who works across a variety of locations. Plus, you won’t need to depend so much on public outlets and periodic recharges.
At just 2.2 lbs and 0.63 inches thick, the HP Elite Dragonfly is an easy fit for any workspace or travel routine. At that weight, it isn’t much heavier than a typical tablet. It also measures up well for features, with plenty of ways to add or subtract specs during checkout. Choose up to an 8th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, SSD storage, and an optional 4K display.
Product Feature: HP OMEN Obelisk desktop PC
Gaming PCs and energy efficiency aren’t always synonymous, mostly because gaming rigs tend to be packed with the most powerful, resource-heavy components. So, how does the HP OMEN Obelisk desktop 875-1055xt handle the task of balancing power with efficiency?
It starts with ENERGY STAR certification and an EPEAT Bronze rating, which places it far ahead of the average gaming desktop. Then, it leverages liquid cooling to reduce overheating and in-game issues, dramatically reducing the impact of conventional cooling systems.
It’s loaded with performance components, too, including a 9th Generation Intel Core i7-9700K processor and an NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 2070 SUPER™ graphics card with 8GB GDDR6 dedicated memory. It also features 16GB HyperX® DDR4-2666 SDRAM and high-stability hybrid storage with a 1TB HDD and a 256GB SSD.
Product Feature: HP ENVY Photo 7855 All-in-One printer
One of the most versatile and popular options in the HP printer collection, the HP ENVY Photo 7855 All-in-One printer is environmentally friendly and loaded with functionality. It prints up to 15 pages per minute in black and 10 ppm in color, and it has fax, scan, and copy capabilities. It even prints photos, too.
This printer is certified by ENERGY STAR and it aligns with HP’s other sustainability efforts, including HP Instant Ink compatibility and support for high-yield cartridges. Thanks to that alignment, you’ll be able to reduce your overall environmental impact and the associated costs of using that printer. How? It’s easy.
The streamlined, closed-loop product cycle helps reduce material waste, providing you with easy recycling options. You’ll then feel direct benefits through automatic ink-level monitoring and shipping thanks to HP Instant Ink, which cuts out the need for cartridge shopping and refills.
Want to know more about HP Instant Ink and high-yield cartridges? Read our article, Top 10 Ways to Save Money on Printer Supplies, which includes other easy options for reducing printer-related costs.
Curious to learn more about your current impact and want to compare other products? Use our carbon footprint calculator to see how different options stack up when it comes to power consumption. The tool also incorporates localized energy rates and carbon impact data, making it a vital resource when you need to find the most energy-efficient laptop or printer.
When did ENERGY STAR start?
ENERGY STAR was founded in 1992 to help manage the environmental impact of the growing personal computer sector. Since then, their purview has expanded to cover a huge range of popular consumer appliances; even homes and public buildings. By 2018, shoppers had purchased more than 6 billion ENERGY STAR certified products.
Over the years, ENERGY STAR has had a substantial impact on the marketplace. If you want to learn more, there are tons of statistics to dig into at the ENERGY STAR by the Numbers web page, including sector-by-sector data on costs and conservation. Or, if you’d like to read about the current ENERGY STAR standards for PCs, you can also check out the detailed program requirements for computers.
HP as ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year: Sustained Excellence
While many manufacturers and brands collaborate with ENERGY STAR, only a limited group is specially acknowledged for their efforts. Since 2018, HP has been recognized 3 consecutive times as an ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year. Recipients are chosen for exceeding ENERGY STAR standards, which includes going well beyond the minimum requirements for certification.
In 2020, ENERGY STAR also gave HP the distinction for consistency, adding recognition for Sustained Excellence in the Product Brand Owner category. Winners range from large corporations to family-owned enterprises, but businesses must receive Partner of the Year at least 2 years in a row to be eligible.
Other sustainability efforts at HP
Through a holistic approach to reducing environmental impact and improving the efficiency of PC products, sustainability is a defining part of the philosophy at HP. That means addressing sustainability as a key part of development at every stage, which leads to streamlining and improving old processes to minimize waste wherever possible. And even as software continues to require increased computing resources, HP has worked to reduce the energy consumption in our PCs by 50%.
The idea of “closed-loop recycling” has helped make it easier for consumers to recycle hardware, keeping manufactured plastics in the supply chain and out of landfills or waterways. According to the HP 2019 Sustainable Impact Report, operations are on track “to increase recycled content in our products to 30% by 2025.”
HP was also 1 of only 8 companies worldwide recognized by the Carbon Disclosure Project for our overall impact strategy, with closed-loop recycling being a major highlight. In 2020, we also introduced new devices made with ocean-bound plastics, like the HP ZBook Studio, the world’s first mobile workstation to incorporate ocean-bound plastic.
Design for Sustainability program
The Design for Sustainability program at HP also continues to hit new milestones, with many new independently-verified Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) showing our service-based solutions reduce the environmental impact of IT compared to traditional offerings. Here are some standout statistics:
- The HP Device as a Service solution reduces GHG emissions by 25% and improves resource efficiency by 28%
- HP Managed Print Services partnerships reduce emissions by 12% and improve resource efficiency by 13%
- The HP Instant Ink program reduces GHG emissions by 73% and improves resource efficiency by 73%
Notes about HP ENERGY STAR software
For consumers, ENERGY STAR may simply exist as a small label on your product. But for PC users with an ENERGY STAR-certified device, you may also notice an additional software component. This exists to distinguish your PC’s ENERGY STAR-tested and approved power plan.
You may be wondering what it does and if you could safely delete it. We recommend leaving the ENERGY STAR app installed and using your device’s certified power settings if you want the best overall performance and lowest environmental impact possible.
What is EPEAT?
Managed by the Green Electronics Council, EPEAT is short for “Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool.” They use a scale with three stages to rate the relative environmental friendliness of consumer products: Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Each meets a range of required efficiency measures, with Silver and Gold-rated products going further by complying with a certain number of optional restrictions.
HP is an industry leader in this category, with the world’s most sustainable PC portfolio based on EPEAT standards. As of late 2020, we offer 137 Gold and 2,016 Silver EPEAT registered products in 19 countries. While not every device in our store has an EPEAT rating, you can count on much more efficient performance when you see one. Plus, you won’t have to look too hard to find it in the HP computer and laptop selection.
ENERGY STAR products provide a guarantee of minimal energy waste and lower energy costs over the life of the device. For HP users, you gain access to a well-rounded, varied, and continually growing selection of more environmentally friendly devices. And that goes for whether you shop from the HP sustainability buyer's guide or our entire selection in the HP Store.
About the Author: Dwight Pavlovic is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Dwight is a music and technology writer based out of West Virginia.