External power supplies are subject to EU ecodesign requirements. They convert power input from the mains into lower voltage output for a large variety of household and office products such as electric tooth brushes and shavers, mobile and cordless phones, notebook computers and tablets, printers, modems, etc. Ecodesign is expected to cut their electricity losses by nearly a third by 2020. The resulting annual savings of 9 TWh are enough to power the whole of Estonia for more than three months and will reduce annual CO2 emissions by more than three million tonnes. This will result in cost savings of EUR 1 billion.
Voltage converters, uninterruptible power supplies, battery chargers, halogen lighting converters and external power supplies for medical devices are excluded from these requirements.
Ecodesign requirements for external power supplies are mandatory for all manufacturers and suppliers wishing to sell their products in the EU. These requirements cover both the "active" efficiency, i.e. the average efficiency when power is supplied to, for example, a notebook when it is actually being used, and the "no-load" power consumption, i.e. the power that the supply still uses when connected to the power mains but not supplying electricity to any device.