This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

February 12, 2014

New Energy Efficiency Standards for External Power Supplies

The Energy Department on February 3 announced new efficiency standards for external power supplies. Over the next 30 years, these standards will help cut carbon pollution by nearly 47 million metric tons—equivalent to the annual electricity use of 6.5 million homes—and save families and businesses nearly $4 billion on their energy bills.

External power supplies are used in hundreds of types of electronics and consumer products, including cell phones, tablets, laptops, video game consoles and power tools, to convert power from a wall outlet into lower voltages. More than 300 million external power supplies are shipped in the United States each year, and the average American home has five to ten external power supplies. These numbers are expected to continue growing as consumers and businesses purchase new types of personal electronics.

The efficiency standards established on February 3 will update 2007 standards for Class A external power supplies to make these components up to 33% more efficient. The final rule also establishes efficiency standards for non-Class A external power supplies, which go beyond Class A components to convert to multiple voltages at the same time, output more than 250 watts, or provide power to a motor-operated product. These standards incorporate feedback from industry, consumer and environmental advocacy groups, and other stakeholders and will go into effect two years after publication in the Federal Register. See the Energy Department news release and its appliance and equipment standards webpage.

Additionally, on January 30, the Energy Department finalized energy efficiency standards for metal halide lamp fixtures, which will help cut carbon pollution by up to 28 million metric tons and save consumers more than $1.1 billion on their energy bills. See the Energy Department news release.