Dell Halts Sales of High-End Gaming PCs in 6 States Due to Energy Regulations

By Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek
Reporter
Tom Ozimek has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education. The best writing advice he's ever heard is from Roy Peter Clark: 'Hit your target' and 'leave the best for last.'
July 28, 2021 Updated: July 28, 2021

Dell has stopped shipping certain high-end Alienware-brand gaming computers in six states due to power consumption regulations, according to a report.

People looking to buy and ship an Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition R10 Gaming Desktop to California from Dell’s website are met with a message that their orders won’t be finalized.

“This product cannot be shipped to the states of California, Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Vermont, or Washington due to power consumption regulations adopted by those states. Any orders placed that are bound for those states will be canceled,” the message reads.

In a statement to The Register, a representative for Dell expanded on the shipment ban as it relates to California’s power consumption requirements.

“Yes, this was driven by the California Energy Commission (CEC) Tier 2 implementation that defined a mandatory energy efficiency standard for PCs—including desktops, AIOs, and mobile gaming systems,” the Dell representative told the outlet. “Select configurations of the Alienware Aurora R10 and R12 were the only impacted systems across Dell and Alienware.”

California’s Energy Commission Title 20 regulations require desktop computers and mobile gaming systems manufactured on or after July 1, 2021, to comply with so-called tier two performance requirements, which limit annual energy consumption to no more than 75 kilowatt-hours per year. This limit applies to those desktop systems with an “expandability score” (ES)—which includes idle power consumption—of between 425 and 690.

To be in compliance with the tier two requirements, desktop computers with an ES of 250 or less must have an annual energy consumption of less than 50 kilowatt-hours per year, while those with an ES score of between 250 and 425 have a cap of 60 kilowatt-hours per year, for models made after July 1.

In 2016, California became the first U.S. state to approve energy efficiency standards for computers and monitors, with estimates indicating that the new standards would save more than 2.3 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

More regulations are on the way, with the Title 20 fact sheet indicating that, starting on Dec. 9, 2021, “computers with high-speed networking capability, multi-screen notebooks, notebooks with cyclical behavior, and monitors with high refresh rates will also be required to meet the performance, testing, marking and certification requirements listed in Sections 1601(v) – 1608 of Title 20.”

Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek
Reporter
Tom Ozimek has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education. The best writing advice he's ever heard is from Roy Peter Clark: 'Hit your target' and 'leave the best for last.'