Efficiency rules target power cords for cellphones, laptops

The Department of Energy (DOE) is considering new efficiency standards for  fast-charging power cords used for consumer electronics like cellphones and laptops.

Proposed rules published in the Federal Register would update the test procedures for such external power supplies to measure their standby and active-mode efficiency.

When the Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy updated the testing requirements for external power supplies in February, it did not account for new fast-charging power cords.

That led the Energy Department Wednesday to propose issuing new testing requirements that would specifically measure the efficiency of these newer models.

"DOE has become aware of a new charging technology," the agency wrote. "This technology enables the use of a faster charging rate, which effectively decreases the overall charging time needed to replenish the discharged battery."

The public has 60 days to comment on the proposed changes.