Energy Department expands efficiency push to 'fast-charging' power cords

The Department of Energy (DOE) is trying to make the power cords that charge computers and cellphones more efficient, the agency said Monday.

The Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy announced it will hold a public meeting later this month to discuss the proposed rules for external power supplies that charge the devices.

The agency proposed new efficiency standards for certain fast-charging power cords last month, which will be the topic of discussion at the meeting on Nov. 21.

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The rules would update the test procedures for these external power supplies to measure their standby and active-mode efficiency.

When the Energy Department updated the testing requirements for most external power supplies in February, it did not account for new fast-charging power cords, which it is doing now.

The proposed rules would specifically measure the efficiency of these newer models of power cords. 

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