Overview

External power supplies – commonly called power adaptors – are used to recharge or power products such as laptops, mobile phones, modems, printers, and other extra low voltage products. They are often supplied along with the product they power.

External power supplies are covered by energy efficiency regulations – even if they come packaged with an appliance or product with its own energy efficiency regulations.

Frequently asked questions below provide more information on which external power supplies must comply with Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS).

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Find out which GEMS determination or regulatory standard applies to your product

All products covered by energy efficiency regulations must meet certain requirements before they can be supplied or sold in Australia or New Zealand.

Depending on the product, this may include Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS), energy rating label requirements or both. There are specific requirements relevant to Australia and New Zealand.

At a glance...

 

MEPS

Energy Rating Label

Australia

New Zealand

External Power Supplies

Yes

No

GEMS Determination

Requirements

Is it an EPS?

MEPS and Marking

Testing and other countries

Registration and Sales

Overview and Test Procedures - AS/NZS 4665 External Power Supplies

Overview

From 1st December 2008 in Australia and 9th June 2011 in New Zealand  most external power supplies (often known as ‘AC adaptors’, ‘plug packs’ or ‘power packs’) manufactured or imported for sale in Australia or New Zealand have been required to meet minimum energy performance standards (MEPS). These units are used to power or re-charge low voltage products such as laptop computers, mobile telephones, modems and many other low voltage products, both fixed and portable.

The following flowchart can assist in determining if a power supply is covered by the MEPS:

 

Products covered are mains powered external power supply units with a single output at extra low voltage (ELV), either AC or DC and a maximum output of 250 W or 250 VA (see the standard for further details on products covered).

MEPS do not apply to:

  • EPS with simultaneous multiple output voltages (e.g. some personal computer power supplies)
  • DC to DC voltage conversion equipment such as DC to DC converters.

Any external power supplies imported into, or manufactured in Australia prior to December 2008 and prior to 9th June 2011 in New Zealand, and held in stock, may continue to be sold or used to provide replacements after this date, however non complying products imported or manufactured after the MEPS start date cannot be sold or supplied.

The standard also defines minimum efficiency levels for “High Efficiency External Power Supplies”. Only products which meet the specified efficiency levels can apply this term to promotion or advertising materials.

These performance requirements are technically identical to the following program requirements for external power supplies, with the exception that there is not a requirement for AC-AC external power supplies to meet any no-load criteria.

  • US Energy Star
  • China Certification Center for Energy Conservation Products
  • California. Note: External Power Supplies sold in California need only comply at 115V AC 60Hz and shall be marked with the performance mark with 115 beside the mark if they comply only at 115V AC
  • European voluntary Code of Conduct

Summary of Test Procedures for External Power Supplies

Test Standards: Regulatory standards and test procedures for external power supplies are published by Standards Australia.

AS/NZS 4665: Performance of External Power Supplies

AS/NZS 4665.1-2005: Test method and energy performance mark

AS/NZS 4665.2-2005: Minimum Energy Performance Standard (MEPS) requirements

These Standards can be purchased from www.saiglobal.com or www.standards.co.nz.

AS/NZS 4665.1: Test Method and Energy Performance Mark

Abstract: Specifies the method of test to assess the energy performance of external power supplies, and the international system for marking the efficiency on the power supply.

This test method is technically identical to the test method used by the US EPA in the Energy Star program. It describes the general test conditions, and the measurement approach for determination of efficiency at 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% of rated power output, and under no load conditions.

This Standard also describes the system for marking a power supply with a Roman Numeral to indicate its overall energy performance. The requirements in AS/NZS 4665.2 are equivalent to numeral III.

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Useful Resources

Visit the Australian Government's energy.gov.au website for useful information like: