The California Energy Commission (CEC) is in the early stages of establishing an energy savings roadmap for electronic devices in standby, idle, or general low power modes (LPM). Although the standby power consumption in a device may seem small relative to the active power, the proliferation of such devices in California residences and the long durations of those devices spent idling have resulted in a significant total in energy waste, providing no utility to users. On January 24, 2019, the CEC held a webinar to provide an overview of the LPM roadmap, cover the proposed scope, review stakeholder comments received, and summarize the next steps.
Low power modes represent any mode other than active mode where a device is performing its main function. The roadmap represents a new approach toward achieving energy savings in contrast to traditional rulemaking. The roadmap specification is voluntary and not subject to federal pre-emption. As such, it can evolve more quickly and flexibly. Although non-regulatory, the roadmap may convert to mandatory standards, if milestones are not met or if there is backsliding. Low power mode energy consumption limits consider energy savings, cost effectiveness, and technical feasibility.
Currently, the process is at the data collection procedure stage. Essentially, the concept is to measure the power draw of a device in an idle state, capturing the consumption for secondary functions with a common test procedure. The next step is to perform data collection on actual products. Upon review of that data, the scope can be modified as needed and an evaluation performed on whether goals have been met with respect to specifications and milestones. If not, the scope would be refined and possibly moved toward rulemaking.
The initial scope for the low power roadmap covers all electric and electronic products and is set deliberately wide to capture more energy savings. Exempt are products already with low power mode standards covered in state or federal regulations or those in other CEC roadmaps. For example, computers, monitors, electronic displays, furnaces, boilers, and microwaves are exempt. The horizontal approach groups together products with similar secondary functions like displays, networking capability, sensors, etc., and then establishes baseline energy usage.
On June 20, 2018, the CEC published a discussion document on low power mode test procedures. Related stakeholder comments were received and summarized in the webinar, covering a variety of topics such as existing test procedures, product provisioning, testing states, networking traffic content, configuration requirements, sensors, wired and wireless charging, DC powering, and off-mode definitions. Detailed comments can be found in the webinar presentation published here on the CEC website.
Next steps include establishing a data collection procedure, collection of preliminary data per that procedure, and publication of an analysis of scope and potential opportunities.
Written comments or proposals must be submitted to the Dockets Unit by 5:00 PM on April 2, 2019 under docket #17-AAER-12 at the following link: http://www.energy.ca.gov/appliances/2017-AAER-06-13/17-AAER-12.html