New Energy Star Promoting New Specs at APEC and PPDC

March 19, 2006 by Jeff Shepard

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is working to finalize two important specifications for office equipment: a revised computer specification (Version 4.0) and a new specification for imaging equipment (Version 1.0), which addresses a number of products including: copiers, fax machines, printers, multifunction devices (e.g., printer/fax combinations, all-in-ones) and scanners.

EPA ENERGY STAR will be exhibiting at APEC 2006 from March 19-23 and at the Portable Power Developer's Conference (PPDC) on April 3-5, 2006 in Richardson, Texas. The EPA booth will include information on external power supply program partner recruitment, the new battery charging system specification release, and EPA's new internal power supply initiatives.

As currently proposed in the draft versions of the specifications for external power supplies (EPS), any ENERGY STAR computer or imaging product which utilizes an EPS will be required to use a model that meets the ENERGY STAR EPS specification requirements, when tested with the ENERGY STAR test method.

The revised ENERGY STAR computer specification proposes efficiency requirements for internal power supplies (IPS). Specifically, the document specifies 80% minimum efficiency at 20%, 50%, and 100% of rated output. The specification also requires a power factor of greater than 0.9 at 100% of rated output, which may provide additional energy savings building-wide of up to 15%.

While not explicitly specifying power supply efficiency levels, the imaging equipment specification is ensuring that ENERGY STAR models are efficient in all modes of operation. The typical energy consumption (TEC) test procedure will measure models as they are typically used across all operational modes during an average week. Utilizing this approach encourages manufacturers to consider designs with more efficient power supplies, thereby lowering power consumption in all operational modes.

The new ENERGY STAR specification for imaging equipment (Version 1.0) is planned to go into effect on March 1, 2007. The ENERGY STAR Tier I computer specification (Version 4.0), which includes both the EPA and IPS requirements mentioned above, is planned to go into effect on July 1, 2007. Both specifications are due for finalization in mid 2006. For more information on these specification revisions please visit the EPA's "product development page" and click on "Revisions to Existing Specifications."