Tag: department of energy

ENERGY STAR Large Network Equipment Version 1.0 Specification Effective March 2016

by on Dec.07, 2015, under ENERGY STAR

Tnetwork-switches-banner (1)he U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released the Final Version 1.0 ENERGY STAR Large Network Equipment (LNE) Specification.  The effective date of the new spec is March 1, 2016.

EPA designated large network equipment as a new category to help IT and data center operators select products that will save them money on their energy bills, assist manufacturers of efficient equipment in increasing sales, and drive down the energy use of data centers and server closets – estimated to be more than 2% of total U.S. electricity consumption.

The ENERGY STAR Large Network Equipment Specification enhances the suite of ENERGY STAR data center specifications which currently includes Computer Servers, Data Center Storage, and Uninterruptible Power Supply specifications – all of which MET Labs is EPA recognized to test and/or certify for.

In its LNE letter to manufacturers, EPA further notes that the spec:

  • Allows for certification of a wide range of enterprise grade switches and routers not covered in the ENERGY STAR Small Network Equipment Specification
  • Introduces an approach to product families for modular products that allows both homogenous and heterogeneous module configurations to be certified
  • Includes requirements focused on power supplies, energy efficiency features, and standard performance data measurement and output

This final specification includes a modest change in scope regarding products with numerous high speed ports and finalizes the revisions to the test method discussed during EPA’s November 16 webinar.

Next Steps:

Manufacturers new to the ENERGY STAR program should submit a Partnership Agreement to join@energystar.gov to initiate the application process for the Large Network Equipment program.

Existing partners should Contact MET to schedule testing and certification.  Don’t delay – available lab time is expected to fill early.

MET Labs is your efficient one-stop-shop for energy efficiency approvals, including ENERGY STAR, Natural Resources Canada, California Energy Commission, EU Directives, and U.S. Department of Energy requirements.

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External Power Supplies Must Meet Level VI Energy Efficiency Requirements for U.S. DoE by February 2016

by on Aug.11, 2015, under ENERGY STAR

Tdt100-che global regulatory environment for external power supply energy efficiency has rapidly evolved over the past decade since the California Energy Commission (CEC) implemented the first mandatory standard in 2004.  Now, external power supplies sold in the U.S. must meet updated and expanded U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) Level VI Energy Efficiency requirements by February 10, 2016.

The new DoE standard mandates more stringent energy efficiency levels for a greater number of external power supply types.  The DoE estimates that these requirements will save consumers up to $3.8 billion and cut emissions by nearly 47 million metric tons of carbon dioxide over 30 years, equivalent to the annual electricity use of 6.5 million homes.

In the early 1990s, it was estimated that there were more than one billion external power supplies active in the U.S. alone. The efficiency of these power supplies could be as low as 50% and still draw power when the application was turned off or unconnected (a “no-load” condition). Experts calculated that without efforts to increase efficiencies and reduce no-load power consumption, external power supplies would account for around 30% of total energy consumption in less than 20 years.

Global Requirements
While many countries still have voluntary programs harmonized to the international efficiency marking protocol system first established by the ENERGY STAR Program, the U.S., Canada, and European Union now have mandatory energy efficiency regulations in place for external power supplies.

Today, Level V will meet or exceed the requirements of any governing body around the globe. Power supply manufacturers indicate compliance by placing a Roman Numeral V on the power supply label as specified by the International Efficiency Marking Protocol for External Power Supplies Version 3.0, updated in September 2013.

Performance Specs
The internationally approved test method for determining efficiency has been published by the IEC as AS/NZS 4665 Part 1 and Part 2. The approach taken to establish an efficiency level is to measure the input and output power at 4 defined points: 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% of rated power output. Data for all 4 points are separately reported as well as an arithmetic average active efficiency across all 4 points.

Level VI
Power supply manufactures are already preparing for the coming transition in February 2016 to the more stringent Level VI standards. Along with tightened regulations for existing adapters, the new standard expands the range of products that fall under the standard to now include:

  • Multiple-voltage external power supplies
  • Products with power levels >250 watts

Direct Vs Indirect Operation
The new standard also defines power supplies as direct or indirect operation products. A direct operation product functions without the assistance of a battery. An indirect operation supply is not a battery charger but cannot operate the end product without the assistance of a battery. The new standard only applies to direct operation external power supplies. Indirect operation models will still be governed by the limits as defined by EISA2007.

The Level VI mandate also includes these exemptions:

  • A device that requires Federal Food and Drug Administration AS/NZS 4665 listing and approval as a medical device in accordance with section 360c of title 21


  • A direct operation, AC-DC supply with output voltage less than 3 volts and output current ≥1,000 milliamps that charges the battery of a product that is fully or primarily motor-operated.

Legacy Products
The DoE Level VI requirement date is February 10, 2016, but it is important to note that compliance with the new standard will be regulated from the date of manufacture, so legacy products can still be shipped as long as the manufacture date is prior to the transition date.  Labeling requirements will be required to meet the same International Efficiency Marking Protocol for External Power Supplies Version 3.0 as the current Level V standard.

Looking Forward
Globally, it is expected that other nations will soon follow suit with this standard.  In the EU, the mandatory European Ecodesign Directive for external power supplies is currently undergoing revision discussions and it is expected to harmonize with most, if not all, of the U.S. standards.  Countries with existing efficiency regulations in line with the U.S., including Canada and Australia, are expected to harmonize with the new standard as well.

MET Labs is geared up to provide independent test reports to verify your compliance with the new Level VI standard for external power supplies.  Contact us for a free quote today.

In addition to testing for the Department of Energy, MET is your one-stop-shop for energy efficiency testing and certification for ENERGY STAR, EU Ecodesign Directive, Natural Resources Canada, and the California Energy Commission.

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ENERGY STAR Most Efficient Program Made Permanent for 2013

by on Oct.09, 2012, under ENERGY STAR

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has made the “Most Efficient” Program permanent for 2013.  This ENERGY STAR program identifying the most efficient products has been in pilot mode since being introduced in 2011.

In 2012, more than 1,400 qualifying models from over 50 manufacturers in 8 product categories were recognized as ENERGY STAR Most Efficient.

In 2013, EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) are proposing to add four new categories to the ENERGY STAR Most Efficient recognition program:

  • Ventilating fans
  • Ceiling fans
  • Computer monitors
  • Windows

Also for 2013, criteria for clothes washers and televisions are changed from 2012 in response to advances in the market. Further, EPA is proposing tailored requirements for ductless heating and cooling equipment recognizing different product applications than ducted products. For the remaining product types, 2012 recognition criteria have been maintained.

On September 27, EPA held a webinar to discuss the proposed 2013 recognition criteria.  Stakeholder comments are due to mostefficient@energystar.gov by October 12.  The 2013 criteria will be finalized by late October.

MET’s ENERGY STAR Program Manager will be at the 2012 ENERGY STAR Products Partner Meeting October 22–24, 2012 in St. Paul, Minnesota.  Send an email to info@metlabs.com to schedule to meet with him.

Find out more about Energy Efficiency Product Testing.

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ENERGY STAR Meeting Closes With Specification Updates

by on Oct.08, 2010, under ENERGY STAR

Yesterday was the last day of the ENERGY STAR Partner Meeting in Denver, CO.  On the agenda was an overview of planned and pending specification updates for ENERGY STAR qualified appliances, including clothes washers, dishwashers, room air conditioners, and refrigerators-freezers.  Also covered was the ambitious Super Efficient Dryer Initiative. 

Clothes Washers
Revised criteria takes effect 1-1-11.  Revised criteria for combination washer/dryers expected to take effect 4-1-11.

Week of 2-3-11 – All in one requirements proposed
Week of 2-27-11 – Stakeholder call on proposed requirements
Week of 3-6-11 – 2nd draft of requirements proposal
Week of 4-1-11 – Finalized

Effective 12-15-10, resume with test procedure specified under 10 CFR 430.  Additionally, report (will be used for EPA analysis only):

  • Remaining moisture content after each wash cycle
  • Water used by dryer (where applicable)
  • Water temperature & pressure

Estimated annual dollar savings of the new requirements: $75
Payback: 2 years, 8 months

Market share of ENERGY STAR dishwashers:

  • 2000 – 10%
  • 2006 – 92%
  • 2009 – 68%

Changes in ENERGY STAR criteria were in 2007 & 2009.

EPA is considering:

  • Phosphate-free detergents – 16 states have banned phosphates & industry banned them 7-1-10
  • AHAM/Advocates proposal
  • Goal is to deliver efficiency with no sacrifice in performance. 

Cleaning performance tests being analyzed for suitability:

  • AHAM-DW-1-2009
  • IEC 60436 3rd Edition
  • NSF 184 2003
  • Consumers Union
  • AHAM-DW-1-1992
  • Good Housekeeping

AHAM/Advocates proposed new standard, effective 1-1-13:

  • Standard: 307 kWh/year; 5 gallons/cycle
  • Compact: 222 kWh/year; 3.5 gallons/cycle

Percent of models that qualify at various efficiency levels:

  • 81% meet ENERGY STAR
  • 36% meet 2011 ENERGY STAR
  • 16% meet CEE Tier 2
  • 10% meet 280 kWh; 4 gallons/cycle

Proposed criteria of the Draft 1 v 5.0 spec:
Standard: Not to exceed 280 kWh/year; 4 gallons/cycle

Anticipated schedule for criteria updates:

  • 10-26-10 – Stakeholder meeting in Washington, D.C. to discuss Draft 1 specification
  • 11-3-10 – Comment closes on Draft 1

Room Air Conditioners (RACs)
Why are RACs under review?  They have a high market share – 36% (2009 est.) – and the specification has not been revised since 2001.

Factors EPA is considering:

  • R-22 refrigerant
  • AHAM/Advocates proposal – 38 advocates
  • New federal standard – at or above current ENERGY STAR levels

R-22 was phased out beginning 1-1-10.  R-410A is the new refrigerant, but it needs a more powerful compressor.  It is time to revisit the criteria, according to Ryan Fogle of D&R International, on behalf of EPA.

New DOE test procedure is based on combined energy efficiency ratio (CEER).
EPA is not considering partial load technology, due to a lack of test procedure.

Release a Draft 1 specification by 10-31-10.  Aim to get new criteria in place by 2012.

Specification is due for an update:

  • MoU calls for reviews at a minimum of every 3 years, or 35% market share (reached in 2009)
  • Concerns about absolute energy consumption of units, and comparison between product classes

DOE changes to federal test procedures:

  • Eliminate ambiguity
  • Improve harmonization with international standards, test repeatability, better reflect actual energy consumption & include updated AHAM standard HRF-1-2008
  • Address auto icemaker energy use
  • Changes to compartment temperature settings

DOE has proposed new standards for 2014.  Compared to 2001 standards:

  • 20-25% for refrigerators/freezers and refrigerators
  • 20-30% for freezers
  • 10-25% for compact refrigerators

Address vulnerabilities due to relative efficiency (opportunity to improve the life-cycle performance):

  • Allow more energy per cubic foot
  • Refrigerators are allowed to have a high absolute energy consumption and still qualify for ENERGY STAR

Begin revision in late 2010; finalize new specification in 2011.

Scoping for 2011 (anticipated)
Countertop appliances (e.g. coffee makers)

Super Efficient Dryer Initiative (SEDI)
ENERGY STAR does not currently label clothes dryers because there is currently little difference in energy use among models.

Objective: Bring super high efficient dryers to North American market.

Primary goals:
2010 – Collaboration
2011 – Product development & field data
2012 – Pilots in North America
2013 – ENERGY STAR & full market launch
2020 – 50% energy reduction

There are greater than 20 “A” labeled super efficient dryers on the EU market.  25% of Swiss market is super efficient, with a goal of 100% by 2012.

Bosch sells a high efficiency heat-pump-operated (condensing) dryer in Europe: WTW86561CH uses 1.35 kWh.

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Manufacturers to Improve Appliance Efficiency, in Exchange for Concessions

by on Sep.20, 2010, under ENERGY STAR

In a surprise move, an appliance manufacturers group has teamed with energy efficiency and environmental groups to push for significantly beefed-up efficiency standards for refrigerators, freezers, washers, dryers, air conditioners and dishwashers.  Here’s why: Efficiency upgrades are bundled with:

  • The hope for a 3-year extension of the manufacturers’ tax credit
  • A petition this month to the ENERGY STAR program that asks for a 5% credit to the required energy levels for smart-grid enabled appliances
  • Recommendations that the Department of Energy improve test methods for dryers and refrigerators

The appliance group – the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers or AHAM – represents manufacturers that account for 95% of the major appliances shipped in the U.S., including:

  • Electrolux
  • General Electric
  • LG Electronics
  • Miele
  • Samsung
  • Sharp Electronics
  • Sub-Zero/Wolf
  • Viking Range
  • Whirlpool

See the AHAM’s press release here.

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