IEA Workshop

The European Strategy for
Reducing Standby Losses in
Consumer Electronics: Status
and Results

1.     Introduction

This Code of Conduct has been prepared by the European Commission, following the discussions and decisions of the ad-hoc working group composed by independent experts, Member States representatives and representatives of industry.

Standby losses, including no-load losses, in power supplies contribute substantially to the electricity consumption of households in Europe. The Study on Miscellaneous Standby Power Consumption of Household Equipment (Molinder, 1997) calculated an increase for wall packs and chargers from about 8 TWh in 1996 to about 14 TWh in 2006 (Business as Usual scenario). With actions resulting from this Code of Conduct this increase can be counterbalanced, resulting in savings of a maximum of 5 TWh per year from 2010, this is equivalent to a total saving of 500 Million EURO per year.

Further savings can be expected form the application of efficient power supplies in electronics appliances, such as TVs, VCRs, microwave ovens, etc.

When addressing efficiency of power supplies, also power quality should be taken into account. Although applying electronics in power supplies can increase efficiency and lower no load losses, it should not adversely effect the power quality.


2. Scope

Scope of this Code of Conduct are external power supplies for electronic and electrical appliances, including among others AC adapters, battery chargers for mobile phones, domestic appliances, power tools and IT equipment, in the input power range 0.3W to 75W. In most cases these power supplies are specified by the appliance manufacturer; production can be at the appliance manufacturer or at a dedicated manufacturer.

These external power supplies and chargers (hereinafter defined "external power supplies") have in common that they mostly do not have an on-off switch and consume electricity in a no-load situation.

3. Aim

To minimise no-load losses of external power supplies in the input power range 0.3W to 75W.

4. Commitment

Signatories of this Code of Conduct commit themselves to:

4.1   Design power supplies or component so as to minimise energy consumption in the off-mode. Those companies who are not responsible for the production of power supplies shall include the concept of minimisation of no load energy consumption in their purchasing procedures of power supplies.

4.2    Achieve the following no-load power consumption targets within the time schedule for at least 60% for Phase 1, 70 % for Phase 2 and 80 for Phase 3, either for the model range using external power supplies or for the models of external power supplies that are introduced on the market after the indicated date (new model only):

Rated Input Power

 No-load power consumption

Phase 1


Phase 2


Phase 3


>0.3W and <15W

1.0 W

0.75 W

0.30 W

>15W and <50W

1.0 W

0.75 W

0.50 W

>50W and  <75W

1.0 W

0.75 W

0.75 W

The no-load power consumption shall be measured and declared according to the method in the Annex.

4.3    Co-operate with the European Commission and Member States in monitoring the effectiveness of this external power supplies.

4.4    External power supplies exempted from the agreement:
1)     AC Adapter with more than one output terminal using switching power circuit

2)   Contact-less charger using switching power circuit

5. Monitoring

Signatories will report on a yearly basis in a confidential manner to the European Commission how many models using external power supplies or models of external power supplies out of the total number of models a manufacturer produces reach the target in that year. For each model using external power supply or external power supply the associated no-load power consumption shall be reported. The reporting shall be completed by the end of February of the following year. The reporting shall start with the year 2000 (baseline year, reporting due by the end of February 2001). The monitoring results will be discussed in an anonymous manner with parties involved and can be published by the European Commission.


Measurement method

(based upon prEN50301)

Measuring conditions

Input power conditions

Measurements shall be carried out at the rated input voltage (in case of multiple voltage it shall be carried out at the highest rated value) and the rated frequency of the power supply.

The fluctuation of the input voltage during the tests shall not exceed ±2 % . The frequency fluctuation of the input voltage and the harmonic components of the input current shall not exceed ±2 % and 5 % respectively.

No-load conditions

The power supply is connected to a power source (fulfilling the above mentioned input power conditions) and the load (e.g. the appliance) is not connected to the power supply. If the load cannot be disconnected, the load should be off .

Environmental conditions

Ambient temperature 15 oC to 35 oC, preferably 20 oC

Measurement procedure

Measure the input power consumption of the power supply 15 minutes after it has been put into the no-load condition.

The measurement should be carried out directly by means of a watt meter.

The maximum permitted error is 5 %.

The measuring time shall be sufficiently long to measure the correct value.

The results shall be given in watts, with a number of relevant digits in accordance with the accuracy of the measurement.

Remark 1

It should be ascertained that the watt meter is suitable to measure the power consumption of power supplies working in a burst mode with a low duty cycle and the low power consumption levels in the no-load mode.

Code of Conduct

on Efficiency of External Power Supplies


The organisation/company/


declares its willingness to sign the Code of Conduct on Efficiency of External Power Supplies and to commit itself to abide to the principles described in point 4 "The Commitment" for the following product categories:   ······.·······.

The organisation, through regular upgrade reports, will keep the European Commission informed on the implementation of the Code of Conduct on Efficiency of External Power Supplies.

for the organisation

Director or person authorised to sign:

Name: ···········

Managerial Function: ···········

Address     ···············

Tel. / Fax.  ········/ ·······

Signature    ···············

Please send the signed form to :

Paolo Bertoldi
European Commission
Directorate General Energy and Transport
Rue de la Loi 200, B-1049 Brussels, Belgium
Tel. +32 2 29 52204
Fax. +32 2 295 5852

E-mail: paolo.bertoldi@cec.eu.int


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