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Energy Efficiency Standard for ‘Wall Warts’

February 4, 2014 By Linda Hardesty

Energy ManageFollowing close on the heels of last week’s finalized energy efficiency standards for metal halide lamp fixtures, the US Energy Department yesterday announced the final rule for new efficiency standards for external power supplies.

The agency says external power supplies, commonly referred to as “wall warts,” 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 new DOE efficiency standards update 2007 standards for Class A external power supplies to make these components up to 33 percent 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.

A blog posting on the Natural Resources Defense Council site said, “NRDC commends the DOE for issuing new efficiency standards for external power supplies – those black boxes that connect many of our electronic and other household devices to wall outlets – which will save Americans $300 million annually in the form of reduced electricity bills and avoid the need for a large (500 MW) power plant.”

Photo credit: “Wall Warts” by Shutterstock



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