New regulations from the EU have sneaked into effect on the first day of 2015, with automatic standby modes mandated for networked devices and the promise of saving £32 per year due to this measure.
- Energy labels for online sales:Retailers will be required to show energy labels when selling products online. Up until now, retailers only displayed the energy efficiency class of a product online, such as 'energy class A', but not the other classes on the label (e.g. A+, A++, B or C) making it difficult for consumers to compare products. This will now become clearer.
- Automatic standby for networked devices: New networked equipment (such as modems, receivers/decoders, connected televisions, printers, etc.) will have to offer a function that switches the equipment into a low power standby mode if no main task is performed.
The projected savings look very high when you consider that the average modem/router uses just 12 Watts when running flat out, but if the cost savings from low power modes for printers and connected televisions are factored in then the savings will be larger. Of course the old fashioned surprisingly digital method of switching a device off rather than leaving it on gives the biggest savings.
Most xDSL connection methods include a power saving mode already, but other options like power reduction when idle for Wi-Fi chips has been a main suspect for the odd behaviour of some Wi-Fi devices in the last few years.
Saving a watt here or there does seem like overkill, but with the increasing number of devices we all leave switched on 24/7 this does add up. While many people do shop for the more efficient dishwashers and washing machines we doubt many people will be using an energy label to pick their broadband router.