Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) are used in data centres, for office servers and other professional applications where uninterrupted electricity supply is crucial. Small units are sometimes also used in private homes to protect electronic equipment from blackouts.

Around 1.4 million units were sold in the EU in 2011. This figure is expected to increase by 50% by 2025, because of the expansion of data centres and a decreasing acceptance of downtime. Their total electricity use is estimated at around 15 TWh/year in the EU, as much as the residential electricity consumption of the Czech Republic.

The energy efficiency of UPS depends on their load, i.e. when they are low loaded, energy losses are relatively high. The performance of UPS available on the market vary widely, which is why regulating them would help avoiding a large part of the energy waste.

What is the European Union doing?

A preparatory study has been completed in 2014, and concluded that about 11 TWh/year savings could be reached by 2025 through an adequate ecodesign regulation, and possibly energy labelling, equivalent to the total residential consumption of Hungary.

Unfortunately, the European Commission has still not followed up on this, and a draft regulation is still pending.

What does the Coolproducts campaign want?

  • Urgent progress on setting minimum energy performance requirements, as well as an energy label for UPS;

  • Additional end user information requirements, such as information on the benefits of longer life batteries, optimal operating conditions, and battery checking and monitoring;

  • Resource efficiency requirements, to reduce the overall environmental footprint of these devices.

Coolproducts technical input and position papers:

 2014 – Technical input to tasks 7 & 8 of the preparatory study on Uninterruptible Power Supply


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With the support of thr European Union (LIFE Programme and European COmmission). This work reflects the author's views and does not commit donors.