17 March 2017
First-Ever Energy Star Specification Issued for Electric Vehicle Chargers
The Environmental Protection Agency recently finalised its first-ever Energy Star specification for electric vehicle chargers. Approximately 114,000 electric vehicles were sold in the United States in 2015 and it is estimated that some 122,000 Level 1 and Level 2 chargers were shipped in the United States that year, with projections to grow to nearly 1.2 million units by 2020. Level 1 charging equipment can be plugged into a standard household outlet, while Level 2 charging equipment uses 240 volts (similar to large household appliances like laundry machines) and can charge a car up to two to three times faster than a Level 1 charger. Both of these chargers are now eligible for the Energy Star label.
According to the EPA, the Energy Star requirements for these products include power consumption limits for No Vehicle, Partial On and Idle modes in order to significantly reduce power consumption when the product is in use but not actively charging the vehicle. The EPA has also set basic criteria to highlight on the Energy Star product finder products capable of supporting demand response. This “connected” functionality allows products to reduce their electricity usage during peak periods and shift charging to non-peak times. The EPA adds that under these efficiency requirements savings from Energy Star certified chargers could grow to more than US$17 million each year and more than 280 million pounds of annual greenhouse gas emissions could be prevented, equivalent to the emissions from more than 26,000 vehicles.
The effective date for the first (Version 1.0) Energy Star specification for electric vehicle supply equipment was 27 December 2016. Manufacturers new to the Energy Star programme may submit a partnership agreement to initiate the application process while existing partners only need to send an email expressing their intention to certify products to the new specification. Existing partners may also submit a new participant form adding electric vehicle supply equipment if doing so is helpful for their recordkeeping. All new products must be certified by an EPA-recognised certification body before being labelled and marketed as Energy Star certified. Upon satisfactory completion of all certification requirements, a certification body will notify the partner that the product is Energy Star certified and will submit certified product data to the EPA for listing on the Energy Star website.
Energy Star is a voluntary labelling programme designed to identify and promote energy-efficient products to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Energy Star label is now available on more than 40 different kinds of products, including home electronics, clothes washers, dehumidifiers, dishwashers, refrigerators and freezers, room air conditioners, commercial fryers, commercial hot food holding cabinets, commercial solid door refrigerators and freezers, commercial steam cookers, computers and other office equipment, and lighting.