Energy-Efficient Ethernet (EEE) is a set of enhancements to the twisted-pair and backplane Ethernet family of computer networking standards that reduce power consumption during periods of low data activity. The intention is to reduce power consumption by 50% or more, while retaining full compatibility with existing equipment. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), through the IEEE 802.3az task force developed the standard. The first study was held in May 2007. The IEEE ratified the final standard in September 2010. Some companies introduced technology to reduce the need for Ethernet before the standard was ratified, using the name Green Ethernet.
In 2005, all the network interface controllers in the United States (in computer, switches, and routers) used an estimated 5.3 terawatt-hours of electricity. According to a researcher at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, Energy-Efficient Ethernet can potentially save an estimated US $ 450 million in US $ 200 million, and offices ($ 170 million), and the remaining $ 80 million from data centers.