The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking early input on a revision to its ENERGY STAR® Audio/Video (A/V) program specification.
The program currently covers sound bars, mp3 speaker docks, audio amplifiers, AV receivers, shelf systems, Blu-ray disc and DVD players, and home-theater-in-a-box systems. Version 3 has been in effect since mid-2013.
Revision discussion will be focused in the following areas:
- New product types - New products, including multi-room speakers, whole home audio products, and audio routers, are being studied to understand power requirements and efficiency possibilities. Voice activated digital assistants are being studied to understand their role in managing home appliance energy use.
- New/tighter efficiency opportunities - based on recent test data and product operating modes
- Amplifier efficiency and wireless testing - Changes in test methods for amplifiers and wireless products are being considered. For multi-channel amplifiers, there’s a concern that the current test method may not fully exercise each channel, reducing potential energy savings. Also being considered is changing the test load from purely resistive to inductive-resistive. Additionally, the EPA seeks feedback on its connection priority order when testing the power consumption of a wireless (i.e. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth) enabled product. The test method currently prioritizes wired connections.
- Treatment of multiple enclosure products - For products with multiple parts (i.e., sound bars with and without powered subwoofers), the EPA is trying to understand the benefits and drawbacks of specifying individual product versus whole system efficiency requirements.
A summary of the current spec (Version 3) can be found here. The Version 4.0 specification and test method discussion document can be downloaded here. The EPA will hold a webinar on Monday, July 17th at 1:00PM (ET) to begin the revision discussion. Stakeholders interested in attending the webinar can register here. Stakeholder comments on discussion guide issues should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org by July 26, 2017. Questions on the spec development can be sent to Verena Radulovic (EPA) at Radulovic.Verena@epa.gov or Emmy Feldman (ICF) at Emmy.Feldman@icf.com.