News Brief

External Power Adaptors Removed from Energy Star

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EnergyStar external power adaptor

Photo: EnergyStar
External power adaptors—the little black plug-in cubes used for everything from cell phones to laptop computers—will no longer be eligible for Energy Star labels as of December 31, 2010, in part due to the success of the program. In the United States there are around 2.7 billion external power adapters—nine per person, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates. The Energy Star program started offering certifications for energy-efficient external power adaptors in 2005. Energy Star also specified qualified adapters for use with other Energy Star products. By 2008 around 50% of the external power adapters sold in the U.S. were Energy Star qualified. The Energy Star performance standard was adopted as a federal standard in 2008, prompting Energy Star to stiffen requirements. Estimates in 2009 showed that more than 50% of the market share of external power adapters already met the new Energy Star standard. Among the factors in the decision to remove them from Energy Star were the market penetration of efficient models, and the move to integrate power adaptor requirements into requirements for relevant equipment and appliances. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, changes to the power adaptors spurred by Energy Star are reducing demand by five billion kilowatt hours (kWh) and one million metric tons of carbon per year. More information is available at

Published October 12, 2010

Emily, C. (2010, October 12). External Power Adaptors Removed from Energy Star. Retrieved from

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