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New Standards and Changes in the Requirements for Power Cords

Recently announced changes by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in regards to power cords and adapters will have a significant impact on how these cords are produced for consumer use. These revised EISA 2007 efficiency requirements are designed to help generate 24 million tons of metric savings in the goal of a 3 billion metric ton reduction of CO2s by 2030 as defined by President Obama.

Based on the information, the current EISA2007 is tightened so active mode and no-load energy efficiency requirements are being met. At the same time, external power supply output power levels are raised to more than 250 watts. This then expands the reach of products covered to those with multiple voltage external power supplies.

As part of the changes to take place in the new regulations, a difference is noted between the direct operation and the indirect operation of the items. When the external power supply is direct, it means there is no requirement for a battery to be used while an indirect is one that must have a battery to properly function. Indirect sources will experience no changes with the tighter requirements set by EISA2007 but direct ones will have changes as a result of the requirements.

To track changes and continue to show they are being compliant based on the new requirements in place, all power cords will be required to have a VI placed on them. This allows inspectors to keep track of compliance based on the new standards in place.

At this time, the requirements set down are only for items manufactured in the United States. This doesn’t mean there isn’t an impact outside the United States, however. Europe has taken a step forward and released their own external power supply requirements in the Code of Conduct, which went into effect January 1, 2014. This is in line with the Department of Energy’s efficiency ruling. Eventually, others will join in and other countries will also raise their standards to meet the same requirements currently in place.

While the revisions have an impact on the environment, they also carry over to the consumer. With the reduction in energy consumption, cost savings will carry over to the consumer. This means power grids will also be under less strain and the long term benefits associated with these changes will continue to be seen. 

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