The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has begun the revision process to its ENERGY STAR® program requirements for imaging equipment. Products within the scope of the program include printers, scanners, copiers, multifunction devices (combination copier, printer, scanner, and/or fax), digital duplicators, and mailing machines (postage printers).
Along with assessing whether the existing version 2 efficiency requirements should be tightened, the EPA plans to investigate the following for version 3:
- Effect of network traffic on energy consumption - There’s concern that the current total annual energy consumption (TEC) test method may not reflect real world conditions since it specifies connection to a single computer. In typical office and home environments, imaging equipment may be connected to a network with multiple computers. Common network conditions could affect a product’s sleep mode and resulting power consumption. The EPA is proposing a revised test method, making TEC requirements more representative of today’s operating conditions.
- Maintenance mode - Currently, products are not allowed to be in maintenance/service mode while under test. Because some products have been shown to enter this mode at multiple times during the day (consuming multiple watts), the EPA is investigating the frequency, duration and power consumption of typical maintenance mode activity.
- Wi-Fi connection priority - The EPA is proposing to elevate Wi-Fi to a much higher preference position in the test method (see “Network or Data Connections” table 6 for more info).
- Standby power definition - Under consideration is renaming “Standby power consumption” to “Lowest power consumption” in an effort to accurately reflect test conditions and eliminate confusion with Off Mode.
- Scope - New products such as units that print on media other than paper (i.e. 3D printers) may be considered. Also, being discussed is the future exclusion of standalone fax machines, standalone copiers, digital duplicators, and mailing machines.
For additional information on version 3 development, including the ENERGY STAR Imaging Equipment Version 3.0 Launch Letter, a recent stakeholder webinar presentation, and the Imaging Equipment Version 3.0 Test Method Discussion Document, visit the ENERGY STAR imaging equipment webpage.