The Energy Department Wants to Make Your Phone Charger More Energy-Efficient

The iGo Green Laptop Charger is displayed at CES Unveiled, the official press event of the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada on January 6, 2009. The iGo Green Laptop Charger features an automatic shut-off and recovery to reduce vampire power, saving energy and money by reducing the amount of power used by devices in off or standby modes. CES, the world's largest consumer electronics show, runs from January 8-11. 
National Journal
Clare Foran
Add to Briefcase
Clare Foran
Feb. 3, 2014, 8:10 a.m.

Sick of spend­ing all your money on your cell-phone bill? The En­ergy De­part­ment plans to boost en­ergy sav­ings for laptop and phone char­gers, and it’s bet­ting the new stand­ards will save you money.

The de­part­ment will strengthen en­ergy-ef­fi­ciency stand­ards for ex­tern­al power sup­plies, products that take the form of cell-phone and laptop char­gers as well as power cords for a host of oth­er elec­tron­ic devices, in­clud­ing video-game con­soles, in homes across the coun­try, the ad­min­is­tra­tion an­nounced Monday.

DOE es­tim­ates that the stand­ards will put close to $4 bil­lion back in the pock­ets of Amer­ic­an con­sumers, while lower­ing car­bon emis­sions by 47 mil­lion met­ric tons over the next 30 years. The EPS stand­ards will build on 2007 stand­ards that are de­signed to boost the ef­fi­ciency of the devices by nearly a third.

The de­part­ment is no stranger to en­ergy-ef­fi­ciency. It re­cently fi­nal­ized en­ergy-ef­fi­ciency stand­ards for met­al hal­ide lamps, a type of light fix­ture com­monly used in park­ing lots and big-box stores. It has also set out en­ergy-sav­ings stand­ards for house­hold and com­mer­cial ap­pli­ances.

DOE em­phas­ized that the ex­tern­al power sup­ply stand­ards fall un­der the head­ing of the pres­id­ent’s lar­ger cli­mate-change agenda.

“Build­ing on Pres­id­ent Obama’s State of the Uni­on ad­dress, which called for re­du­cing car­bon pol­lu­tion and help­ing com­munit­ies move to great­er en­ergy ef­fi­ciency, the En­ergy De­part­ment today an­nounced new ef­fi­ciency stand­ards for ex­tern­al power sup­plies,” a press re­lease stated.

These latest ef­fi­ciency stand­ards come as the ad­min­is­tra­tion faces heightened scru­tiny from en­vir­on­ment­al ad­voc­ates look­ing to judge the pres­id­ent’s com­mit­ment to act­ing on cli­mate change in the lead up to a fi­nal de­cision on the Key­stone XL oil sands pipeline.

De­bate over the pipeline in­tens­i­fied last week, when the State De­part­ment re­leased a re­port con­clud­ing that ap­prov­ing the pro­ject would not sig­ni­fic­antly speed oil sands de­vel­op­ment in Canada, a find­ing that en­vir­on­ment­al groups have con­tested.

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