As of February 10, 2016, the Department of Energy (DOE) will begin enforcing compliance with a new level of energy efficiency standards that specifically relate to External Power Supplies (EPS), also known as desktop or wallwart/wall-mount power supplies. This new energy efficiency standard is known as Level VI and is marked on compliant power supplies with the Roman numeral VI. The publication of the final rule can be found at the following link: http://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2014/02/f7/eps_ecs_final_rule.pdf
In short, the new standard increases the minimum energy efficiency requirements for EPS and brings a number of new types of EPSs within the scope of the new standard. Those EPSs that are now within the scope of the Level VI standard include those with lower voltage AC or DC output, multiple-voltage outputs and those with a power output exceeding 250Watts. It also differentiates between direct and indirect operation EPSs (an indirect EPS cannot operate the end product without the support of a battery).
There are also a number of exemptions that affect whether or not a given EPS needs to be Level VI compliant. These include EPS that are used with FDA Listed/Approved products, those that are used to charge a battery pack and those that have been made available as a service or spare part by the manufacturer of an end product prior to July 1, 2008.
Given all of these updates and changes, ensuring compliance can be a difficult maze to navigate. Luckily, most of the manufacturers of EPS have been working to ensure Level VI compliance for the products they produce of the past couple of years. In many cases samples of compliant versions of current products (or those that replace current products) are now available. Products still in testing or approval stages are scheduled for release shortly.
We at current solutions have been working diligently to keep up with these changes. We have been working with our manufacturers to ensure that we know when compliant products will be available and to pass that information on to our OEM clients. If you have questions about Level VI compliance and how it affects your product, please contact us TODAY! Make sure you are compliant today so that this new standard does not affect your production schedule tomorrow.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Below are some frequently asked questions that may help you to better understand how these new standards might affect you. This list will be continually updated.
1. If the end customer for the EPS is outside the US market, does the EPS still need to comply with Level VI?
ANSWER: Per DOE regulations, products meant for customers outside of the US do not have to meet Level VI compliance so long as the following conditions are met:
- The product is manufactured, sold, or held for sale for exports from the U.S. or is imported for export;
- The product, or any container in which it is enclosed, when distributed in commerce, bears a stamp or label stating “NOT FOR SALE FOR USE IN THE UNITED STATES’; and
- The product is, in fact, not distributed in commerce for use in the U.S.
2. What about the inventory already in stock as of 2/10/2016? Can this stock be sold after this date?
ANSWER: Stock that is intended for sale in the US, complies to existing standards (Level IV) and has been received prior to February 10, 2016 may be continue to be sold. However, any such stock must have been imported prior to February 10, 2016. If the EPS is manufactured overseas, it is the importation date that matters rather than the manufactured date.
3. Since any EPS I order must be compliant as of importation date, when should I make sure orders are placed for Level VI compliant product?
ANSWER: This will depend on the lead time from your manufacturer. If your manufacturer is in the United States, any product built under previous standards must ship prior to February 10, 2016. If your manufacturer is overseas, you must consider manufacturing lead times as well as delivery lead times so as to ensure that the any product not Level VI compliant is received prior to February 10, 2016. Things to consider when deciding how early to place Level VI orders include the manufacturer’s lead time (up to 12 weeks in some cases), delivery lead times (up to 5 weeks if ocean freight) and holidays that may increase manufacturing lead times(Golden Week, Chinese New Year, etc.).