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201412 – Energy Efficiency Update

September 11, 2015

EPA (US Environmental Protection Agency):

1. In response to questions on testing requirements for re-certification of set-top boxes to the Version 4.1 specification, the EPA has released the following guidance: “If the test method changes do not impact the measured energy consumption of the Version 3.0 certified product, then the product does not need to be retested. All other products must be retested to Version 4.1.”

2. The EPA has released the following FAQ in regards to integrated access devices:

Q: What data rate should be used to test an Integrated Access Device with both WAN and LAN interfaces?

A: When performing either the WAN test or the LAN test in the ENERGY STAR Small Networking Equipment test procedure, the data rate chosen on the high data rate test may be different for each test and should be tailored for the interface targeted by the test. For instance, an IAD with 360 Mbps symmetric line rate on the WAN interface and 1 Gbps symmetric line rate on the LAN interface, the target data rate for the WAN test would be 200 Mbps and for the LAN test it would be 500 Mbps. For an asymmetric WAN line rate of 240 Down and 160 Up, the target line rates would be 200 mbps down and 100 Mbps up.

3. The EPA has updated relevant ENERGY STAR electronics product specifications to reflect that the Single- and Multiple-voltage EPSs shall meet the Level V or higher performance requirements under the International Efficiency Marking Protocol.  This update does not affect currently certified products but rather allows products with a level VI EPS to be certified as ENERGY STAR.

4. The EPA has clarified that the calculation of amplifier efficiency in the Version 3.0 Audio Video Equipment specification is intended to capture both the fixed and variable losses of amplifier, even when tested with an embedded compact disc player as audio input source.

5. The EPA has released the first draft of the Version 7.0 ENERGY STAR Displays Specification and the Draft 2 Test Method along with a cover letter explaining the proposed revisions and changes. EPA is encouraging feedback and input on all proposed changes. Version 7.0 is expected to take effect in early 2016. The documents can be found using the following link:

DOE (Department of Energy):

1. The DOE has issued the following draft guidance on external power supplies.

Q: Are external power supplies that are packaged with and used to operate commercial or industrial equipment covered by the Department of Energy’s energy conservation standards?

A: The Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975, as amended (EPCA), defines an external power supply as an “external power supply circuit that is used to convert household electric current into DC current or lower‐voltage AC current to operate a consumer product.” 42 U.S.C. 6291(36). See also 10 CFR 430.2. In a final rule issued on February 10, 2014, DOE discussed the applicability of the term "consumer product" in the context of the external power supply definition. See 79 Fed. Reg. 7846, 7860 (Feb. 10, 2014). Despite this explanation, DOE continues to receive numerous inquiries about whether external power supplies packaged with and used to operate specific products or equipment need to meet DOE’s energy conservation standards. In response to these questions, DOE is issuing this draft guidance.

Consistent with EPCA and DOE’s regulations, any external power supply that is of a type capable of operating a consumer product would be considered a covered product and possibly subject to DOE’s energy conservation standards, without regard to whether that external power supply was in fact distributed in U.S. commerce to operate a consumer product. Only external power supplies that have identifiable design characteristics that would make them incapable of operating a consumer product would be considered to not meet EPCA’s definition of external power supply.