External power supplies

External power supplies

Every mobile phone, laptop and many other products require a power adapter to convert household electricity to a lower-voltage. In recent years, the explosion in the number of portable devices requiring such adaptors, or external power supplies (EPS), has led to a wasteful substantial surplus in our homes.

What’s the European Union doing?

A regulation on external power supplies was adopted in 2009, with expected savings of 9TWh annually by 2020, equivalent to the residential electricity consumption of almost 6 million European citizens. 

This regulation is currently being reviewed, but due to the limited extra savings potential, the European Commission is putting less effort into this, compared to other products. However, various proposals have been made relating to enlarging the scope of Ecodesign requirements, as well as tightening existing ones. 

Manufacturers in the EU and US want aligned requirements for these devices to reduce costs related to this global product. Coolproducts sees this as an opportunity to further raise the environmental performance of these products and any common requirements for both jurisdictions should be based on the most ambitious level, rather than a lowest common denominator. 

What does the Coolproducts campaign want?

  • Reduce the proliferation of external power supplies by increasing their inter-operability (e.g. one external power supply for various products)

  • Establish Ecodesign requirements for when these appliances are in low power or standby modes (the so-called '10% loading active efficiency')

Coolproducts' technical input and position papers are availble below

2018 - Final recommendations on EPS

2015 - Position on the updated Draft Commission Regulation on External Power Supplies

2013 - Position on the review of the Ecodesign regulation on external power supplies