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Energy Efficient Products
External power supply image
External Power Supplies

Ecodesign requirements apply to this product.

External Power Supplies (EPS) are devices used to supply electricity to, and to charge built-in batteries of electronic and electric devices such as laptops, mobile phones, tablets, MP3 players, electronic cigarettes, electric tooth brushes, electric shavers, etc. For products without built-in batteries, they serve as the main continuous source of power – for example standalone loudspeakers or computer network equipment such as modems and routers. EPSs are not the same as battery chargers, which charge stand-alone batteries or battery packs and which are exempted from this ecodesign regulation.

An EPS transforms the 230 V mains voltage supplied by an electric socket  to a lower voltage level suitable to the primary load product – often between 5 V and 20 V. It also often rectifies the Alternating Current (AC) from the electric socket to Direct Current (DC) typically used for household and office  electric  and electronic products. An EPS is contained in a physical enclosure separate from the device that constitutes the primary load, and it is connected to that device via a removable or hard-wired electrical connection, cable, cord or other wiring.

Only EPS with nameplate output power not exceeding 250 W are in the scope of the ecodesign regulation.

Source: estimations from the Ecodesign Impact Accounting Overview Report 2023


The following table shows some examples of products in scope and out of scope

In Scope Out of Scope
  • external power supplies, powering IT and consumer equipment, household appliances, toys, sports equipment etc
  • voltage converters;
  • uninterruptible power supplies;
  • battery chargers
  • power supplies for lighting products
  • EPS for medical devices

Check the complete list in the Regulation

Ecodesign Requirements

The ecodesign regulation covers external power supplies with an output power of maximum 250 W, which are intended to work with electrical and electronic household and office equipment. From April 2020, Regulation (EC) 278/2009 was replaced by Regulation (EU) 2019/1782.

The rules apply to both the active efficiency and the no-load power consumption. Active efficiency is the average efficiency when a power supply is connected to a device, for example a laptop, when it is being used. No-load power consumption is the power consumed when this is plugged into a power outlet but not connected to a device.

Voltage converters, uninterruptible power supplies, battery chargers, halogen lighting converters and external power supplies for medical devices are excluded from these requirements.



Ecodesign is expected to substantially improve the energy efficiency of external power supplies. The new regulation of 2019 is expected to achieve additional energy savings of around 5 TWh/year in 2030. This corresponds to avoided GHG emission of  0.6 million tons per year.

This also corresponds roughly to the energy used in one year by 0.8 million electric cars. The measure will also result in cost savings of around €1.3 billion for the users.

Facts & Figures

This graphic shows the estimated sales, stock, electricity consumption (primary), greenhouse gas emissions, consumer expenses and business revenues for years 2010 and 2030. The anticipated effect of the measures with respect to the projected evolution of the parameters without such measured in place is indicated by the dashed patterns and their corresponding figures.

Product: External Power Supplies

Measures: Regulation (EU) 2019/1782

chart legend
Effect of Regulations

SALES (x1000 units)

External Power Supply Sales Chart

STOCK (x1000 units)

External Power Supply Stock Chart

Electricity (TWh/a)

External Power Supply Electricity Chart

(Mt CO2 eq/a)

External Power Supply GHG Emissions Chart

(bn €)

External Power Supply Consumer Expenses Chart

(bn €)

External Power Supply Revenues Chart

Source: estimations from the Ecodesign Impact Accounting Overview Report 2023

Expected Savings

In active mode, EPSs pass on the largest part of their input power to the connected primary loads, which in several cases are also accounted separately in the Ecodesign Impact Accounting (EIA). Therefore, the EIA considers only the active EPS losses (difference between input and output power), not the entire electricity input.

In 2020, EPS consumed 11.6 TWh of electricity of which 0.6 TWh in no-load mode.

Total EU27 Electricity for External Power Supplies

External power supplies electricity chart

Source: estimations from the Ecodesign Impact Accounting Overview Report 2023


Ongoing legislative work

Please check the ongoing initiatives on the Have your say portal.

Commission Regulation (EU) 2019/1782 of 1 October 2019 laying down ecodesign requirements for external power supplies pursuant to Directive 2009/125/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and repealing Commission Regulation (EC) 278/2009 (Text with EEA relevance).

What is the aim of the regulation?

It establishes ecodesign requirements for the placing on the market or putting into service of external power supplies*.

Key points

The regulation applies to EPS powering:

  • Household appliances
  • Information technology equipment
  • Consumer equipment
  • Electrical and electronic toys, leisure and sports equipment.

The regulation does not apply to:

  • voltage converters;
  • uniterruptible power supplies;
  • battery chargers without power supply function;
  • lighting converters;
  • external power supplies for medical devices;
  • active power over Ethernet injectors;
  • docking stations for autonomous appliances;

The regulation sets:

  • energy efficiency requirements, and
  • information requirements

From when does the regulation apply ?

It applies from 1 April 2020 and repeals Regulation (EC) 278/2009 on that date.


Directive 2009/125/EC establishes a framework to set ecodesign requirements for energy-related products. The Commission must set these for products which are widely sold and traded in the EU and have a significant environmental impact.

For more information see:

Disclaimer: please pay attention to possible updates/changes as indicated in the Official Journal (green dot)