DOE Issues Stronger Energy Efficiency Standards for External Power Sources

The U.S. Department of Energy has issued stronger energy efficiency standards for certain classes of external power sources (EPSs) that will increase the cost to manufacturers but save consumers billions in energy expenses and lower carbon dioxide emissions over the next three decades.

The EPSs are used by cell phones, laptop computers, video game consoles and other electronic devices. The new rules, developed by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (OEERE), a branch of DOE, could cost manufacturers $51 million, according to The Hill.

DOE, however, does not expect it to result in any plant closings or significant job losses, and it estimates the new rules will save consumers up to $3.8 billion in energy costs.

The new rules set energy conservation standards for the minimum average efficiency of a device in use and the maximum power consumption level when it is plugged in but not supplying power. The new standards will take effect two years from the date of publication in the Federal Register, which means they will apply to all external power supplies that are manufactured in or imported to the U.S. by Feb. 10, 2016.

DOE says it has set new efficiency standards for more than 30 household and commercial appliances, under the Obama administration, estimating that will save consumers more than $400 billion through 2030.

According to the Bloomberg BNA blog, the new standards will require “Class A” external power supplies, which are the most commonly used, to be up to 33% more efficient. For non-Class A EPSs, those that convert multiple voltages, put out more than 250 watts or power a motor-operated device, it sets efficiency standards for the first time.

In addition to the $3.8 billion in consumer savings, the Bloomberg report notes the rules will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 47 million metric tons over 30 years.

DOE held off on setting efficiency standards for battery chargers, which were included in the draft version of the rules. Boston-based nonprofit Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP) says that is because the proposed battery charger standards would have been weaker than standards already used in California and approved by Oregon.

To read the full The Hill article cited in this story, click here

To read the full Bloomberg BNA blog cited in this story, click here

To read the full DOE rules, click here


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