New rules for external power supplies will enable household energy savings and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions

A new European Commission regulation on external power supplies aimed at making a range of household appliances – from laptops to electric toothbrushes – more energy efficient entered into force as of 1st April within the context of EU ecodesign measures.

As a result, European consumers will be able to save on their household bills, help reach EU-wide energy saving goals and reduce emissions. External power supplies are power adaptors used to convert electricity from household power mains into lower voltages, and are very common in European homes, with an average of ten per household and more than 2 billion in total in the EU.

The new EU rules will make these external power supplies more energy efficient, aligning them to the highest standards worldwide.

It is expected that electricity savings of over 4 TWh/year by 2030 will be generated, enough to power the whole of Latvia for a month.

This will result in avoiding greenhouse gas emission of more than 1.4 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year from 2030 onwards. External power supplies are used, for example, in consumer electronics (smartphones, loudspeakers, sound systems, televisions), ICT products (modems, routers, laptops, tablets, electronic displays), small kitchen appliances (blenders, juicers), and personal convenience products (shavers, electric toothbrushes).

The ecodesign regulation for external power supplies is part of a broader package of measures adopted last year, consisting of 10 ecodesign and 6 energy labelling regulations.

The full package is expected to deliver a total of 167 TWh of final energy savings per year by 2030.

This is equivalent to the annual energy consumption of Denmark.

The cumulative savings correspond to a reduction of over 46 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year from 2030 onwards.

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Martin Banks

Martin Banks

Martin Banks is a highly qualified journalist with many years experience of working within the EU institutions. He is an occasional, and highly valued, contributor to EU today, writing on a wide variety of issues.

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