On December 27, 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized its first-ever ENERGY STAR specification for electric vehicle chargers. Electric vehicle charging infrastructure in the home and in the public sphere is increasing rapidly; the ENERGY STAR label will help consumers, utilities, manufacturers and others integral to developing electric vehicle charging infrastructure identify more energy efficient products in this fast-growing industry.
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), approximately 114,000 electric vehicles (EVs) were sold in 2015 in the US. Based on data from the IEA, EPA estimates that approximately 122,000 Level 1 and Level 2 chargers were shipped in the United States in 2015, with projections to grow to nearly 1.2 million units by 2020.
Both Level 1 and Level 2 chargers are now eligible for the ENERGY STAR label. Level 1 charging equipment can be plugged into a standard household outlet. Level 2 equipment uses 240V, similar to large household appliances like laundry machines, and can charge the car up to two to three times faster than a Level 1 charger. The ENERGY STAR requirements 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. EPA 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.
“EPA is excited to help the growing electric vehicle community reduce unnecessary energy waste by highlighting more efficient chargers and to recognize leading manufacturers designing their products with the latest efficient technologies,” said Ann Bailey, Branch Chief of the ENERGY STAR Products Program.
Under these ENERGY STAR efficiency requirements, savings from ENERGY STAR certified chargers could grow to more than $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.
To earn the ENERGY STAR label, products must be certified by an EPA-recognized third party, based on testing in an EPA-recognized laboratory. In addition, manufacturers of the products must participate in verification testing programs run by recognized certification bodies.
ENERGY STAR is the simple choice for energy efficiency. For nearly 25 years, people across America have looked to EPA’s ENERGY STAR program for guidance on how to save energy, save money, and protect the environment. Behind each blue label is a product, building, or home that is independently certified to use less energy and cause fewer of the emissions that contribute to climate change. Today, ENERGY STAR is the most widely recognized symbol for energy efficiency in the world. Since 1992, ENERGY STAR has helped families and businesses save $362 billion on utility bills, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2.4 billion metric tons. Join the millions who are already making a difference at energystar.gov.