Step 2: Look for the ENERGY STAR symbol

Look for the ENERGY STAR symbol on

  • computers (desktops and laptops)
  • monitors
  • imaging equipment (printers, fax machines, scanners, photocopiers, multi-function devices, digital duplicators and mailing machines)
  • servers
  • external power adapters
  • bottled-water coolers

Do Not Stop At Office Equipment

Office equipment should be just your starting point. Many other products are eligible to use the ENERGY STAR symbol in Canada, including appliances, home electronics, lighting, heating and cooling equipment, certain commercial equipment, and windows, doors and skylights. More information is available at

Figure 1 The ENERGY STAR symbol
The ENERGY STAR symbol
The ENERGY STAR symbol appears on a wide range of products sold in Canada.

To qualify for ENERGY STAR, products must meet strict technical specifications endorsed by the Government of Canada. Requirements vary from one product category to another, but typically a product must be from 10 to 65 percent more efficient than standard equipment to be allowed to carry the ENERGY STAR symbol.

Myth versus fact
MYTH versus FACT
ENERGY STAR qualified equipment typically costs no more to buy than conventional equipment, but it will save you money through reduced electricity consumption.
ENERGY STAR qualified equipment does not perform as well as conventional equipment.
A requirement for ENERGY STAR qualification is that a product must not sacrifice functionality, performance, case of use or reliability to achieve premium levels of energy efficiency.
It is hard to understand the ENERGY STAR symbol.
The power of the ENERGY STAR symbol is in its simplicity. No special knowledge is needed to select an energy-efficient product, because the technical evaluation has been done for you.

How much can you save with ENERGY STAR?

The amount of money you save by purchasing ENERGY STAR qualified products depends on several factors, including the size of your office (the number of employees and the amount of equipment you use), the equipment-using habits of employees and local utility rates. Two case studies are presented here to show the potential energy, cost and environmental benefits.

First case study: the medium-sized company

Table 1 compares ENERGY STAR qualified equipment with conventional equipment in a typical office of 200 employees. It shows how much money the offices could expect to save under normal operating conditions, as well as the potential savings in GHG emissions. You can do your own calculations based on average electricity rates in your province or territory by using the handy ENERGY STAR Simple Savings Calculator, available on-line at

Comparison of ENERGY STAR qualified equipment with conventional office equipment in a hypothetical office (200 employees)
Type of equipment (quantity) Annual energy
costs for ENERGY STAR qualified equipment1 ($)
Annual energy
costs for conventionaFootnote 1 equipment ($)
Annual energy cost savings by using ENERGY STAR qualified equipment ($) Lifetime energy
cost savings by using
ENERGY STAR qualified equipmentFootnote 2 ($)
Lifetime energy savings by using ENERGY STAR qualified equipment (kWh) Lifetime GHG savings
by using ENERGY STAR qualified equipment (kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent)
Personal computers
5,320 7,719 2,400 8,037 87 768 21 427
(180)Footnote 3
1,754 6,806 5,052 16,920 184 785 45 112
Laser printers
(18)Footnote 4
499 865 366 1,481 16 732 4 085
Fax machines (9) 189 316 127 512 5 790 1 413
High-speed photocopiers (6) 808 875 67 316 3 690 901
Scanners (6) 17 32 15 49 540 132
Total $7,867 $16,313 $8,027 $20,085 299 305 kWh 70 070 kg of CO2e

In this case study, the savings represent the following:

  • 15.5 cars off the road
  • 7706 trees planted, as you remove the need for trees to sequester CO2 emissions
  • 26 239 round-trips from Halifax to Montréal, by car, if you could also trade the CO2 emissions saved.

Second case study: the business at home

Businesses of all sizes can win with ENERGY STAR. by purchasing an ENERGY STAR qualified computer and monitor, a businessperson operating from a home office can save about $139 in electricity costs over the expected four-year life of the machine (based on an average electricity price of $0.11/kWh).

An ENERGY STAR qualified medium-range multi-function device can deliver additional energy cost savings of about $38 over six years, not to mention capital cost savings from purchasing one machine instead of several machines.

How Much Power Does A Computer Use?

Typical electricity consumption over 24 hours by an ENERGY STAR qualified personal desktop computer and 17-inch LCD monitor:

  • Left “on” — 1200 watt hours (Wh) (computer without power management features enabled)
  • In deep-sleep mode —60 Wh (ENERGY STAR qualified computer and monitor with power-management features enabled)
  • Turned “off” — 24 Wh

Using power - management features can reduce electricity costs by $25 to $75 a year per computer.

The environment wins as well: when you select ENERGY STAR qualified equipment, your home office will reduce GHG emissions by 480 kg over four years, the equivalent of planting 12 trees. With more than 1 million Canadians working out of their homes (according to the 1996 census of Canada), the total energy cost savings would be more than $40 million per year. GHG emissions would be reduced by 210 000 tonnes (t) per year.

Did You Know?

Equipment must be shipped from the factory with its power-management capabilities fully activated to qualify for the ENERGY STAR symbol.

Other benefits

Compared with conventional equipment, ENERGY STAR qualified office equipment produces less heat by powering down when not in use. This contributes to a cooler, more comfortable workspace and may extend equipment operating life.

Sample Procurement Language

“The vendor must provide products that are qualified to use the ENERGY STAR symbol and meet the ENERGY STAR specifications for energy efficiency. Complete product specifications and an up-to-date listing of qualified products are available at”

ENERGY STAR qualified computers can also reduce noise from fans and power supplies and electromagnetic emissions from monitors, compared with conventional products.

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