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Ecodesign of Products with Off Mode and Standby Mode

Commission Regulation (EU) 2023/826 lays down ecodesign requirements for off and standby mode of electronic devices. Power mode selection is a central function of many devices since it allows users to manage idle power consumption. This European directive defines affected products and their design requirements, as well as the information that manufacturers must provide to users.

The Need for Device Power Modes

standby mode

Electronics get more sophisticated with each new generation of technology. As widespread devices become more complex, their power demand generally increases. Therefore, modern products often include distinct power modes, compared to older devices that may have only had a simple on/off switch.

Power modes are a simple way to limit consumption when a device does not serve while maintaining some functionality. Examples include: 

  • power throughputs or relays 
  • soft-boot processes for onboard computers
  • buttons, lights, and information displays
  • remote access or networking capability
  • wireless mode-switching or function toggling

Ecodesign of Power Demand

Power consumption is a popular target for ecodesign regulation since almost every personal electronic device requires an onboard power source. For charging, we usually access electricity via the power source. Additionally, we store it in a battery integrated into the device. Sometimes, electronics require an external source for dedicated power conversion. Exceptions exist, of course, but we find this simple design philosophy almost everywhere.

Consequently, many aspects of the device power economy have seen regulation concerning their ecodesign requirements. Batteries and battery waste, for example, are subject to dozens of constraints depending on the market they are in. Similarly, external power supplies and electronics displays must meet several benchmarks for efficiency, performance, and labeling.

Power modes are a logical step forward in the trend. They represent a simple functionality that can drastically reduce the amount of idle and phantom power consumed. This consideration is especially relevant for devices in the active phase of their life cycle and remain connected to a power supply but do not see constant (or even regular) use. 

European Ecodesign for Standby and Off Mode

The energy efficiency of household devices has become particularly challenging in the European Union with the risks of energy outages from supply chains. Additionally, for environmental reasons, aggressive obligations of ecodesign requirements target standby and off modes, per the following regulation: 

Commission Regulation (EU) 2023/826 of 17 April 2023 laying down ecodesign requirements for off mode, standby mode, and networked standby energy consumption of electrical and electronic household and office equipment

Regulation 2023/826 stems from the general Directive 2009/125/EC ecodesign requirements for energy-related products. Additionally, it repeals the previous regulation 1275/2008.

What is the Scope of Regulation 2023/826?

The standby and off mode regulation affects multiple classes of products in Europe, such as: 

  • Household appliances, especially laundry and kitchen.
  • Domestic radio, video, audio, media, etc. equipment.
  • Electric toys, games, train/car sets, and adjustable furniture.
  • Motor-operated building elements, like blinds, doors, screens, and others.
IEC5009 Standby Mode Symbol

What are the Obligations under this Standby and Off Mode Regulation?

In total, there are three main requirements:

1. Energy efficiency with limits of:

  • Power consumption in off mode.
  • Power consumption in standby mode. Here, several options are possible, depending on standby functionality.
  • Power consumption in networked standby.


2. Functional requirements, including:

  • The availability of off-mode and standby mode
  • Specific power management functions with the following requirements:
    • The description of the main power management functionality
    • The description of optionally disabling power management functionality
    • A period before the activation of power management from other modes
    • The immediacy of the power management functionality when the product is on the market (immediately available).
  • For networked equipment, the ability to deactivate wireless network connections. As a side note, networked equipment has a separate power management functionality.


3. Information requirements, such as:

  • Instruction manuals with:
    • Information for consumption and timing for each mode.
    • Elements for networked standby.
    • Facts for products using external power supplies that don’t come with the product.
    • Guidance for how to activate and deactivate wireless ports.
  • Technical documentation, like:
    • The category of equipment.
    • Details for each mode.
    • Extra points for networked equipment and for each network port.
    • Various test conditions.
    • Characteristics of the equipment that are relevant for assessing conformity
    • Technical justifications and details

Standby and Off Mode in Consumer Devices

As mentioned, power mode functionality is a natural progression in the ecodesign of personal electronics. The collective action of such a simple feature reduces unnecessary power usage in millions of devices worldwide. This metric represents a significant incentive to target power usage on an individual level. In fact, the average user can expect several benefits from a properly implemented power mode function, including subsequent energy and product lifespan savings.

Other Ecodesign Constraints

The design stages of electronics determine:

  • the energy consumption, 
  • the lifespan, 
  • the e-waste management of electronics,
  • Other product functions. 

Finally, when it comes to developing eco-design practices, many parameters matter, such as:

Energy Efficiency - Ecodesign Requirements for Servers

Do you have any questions on standby mode? Contact Enviropass!