Welcome to another installment of product specifications 101 as it relates to the print imaging world! gap intelligence is known to geek out on data points like specifications and learning industry specific language. Last year, I wrote a blog about the enigmatic automatic document feeder (The ABCs of Product Specifications: the ADF). This time we are talking about all things energy-related. In regards to our copier and printer specifications, we track a number of key energy insights. Today, we’ll review what each one means.

Printer Power Consumption


Maximum Power Consumption (W)

In a busy office environment on a not-so-typical day, a printer may be running multiple print jobs from different departments and is actively working at its maximum capacity. The maximum power consumption measured in watts is the highest amount of power allowed to flow through a device. According to Wikipedia, power consumption refers to the electrical energy, per unit time, in order to operate something. The maximum power consumption listed in a data sheet is approximately the amount allowable for that device to function.

Active Power Consumption (W)

You can think of active power consumption as the amount of power that a device uses when performing a common function. It’s the typical energy output of a device as it would run on an average day. Sometimes data sheets list one or more active power consumptions for either printing or copying.

Power Standby (W)

A device that is plugged in and ready to use is likely expending standby electrical power as it is not presently used. This type of power consumption isn’t obvious since a device may not look active. It is easy to see why power standby is often referred to as vampire energy or leaking electricity. Sometimes standby and sleep mode are used interchangeably as both use a lower power mode (i.e. it uses less energy).

Power -Sleep Mode (W)

Sleep mode is also known as power saving mode. I have read several blogs that liken sleep mode to a pause button. If you see a device that is plugged in and on, but looks like it is not being used it is most likely in sleep mode. In order to wake the device, all you need to do is perform a normal function like printing or copying. This type of power consumption uses even lesser energy then standby as the majority of the device functions seem to be off or are not in use.

TEC (kW/week)

TEC (kW/week) stands for Typical Energy Consumption and is a value measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). The Energy Star Program determines the rating. Their documentation describes TEC as a method to assess the standard weekly energy consumption of a product. This means extensive testing of a device in different use scenarios. The testing uses all power modes (maximum, average, active, standby and sleep mode) in a typical operating environment to determines the value. A TEC value helps consumers compare the average energy output of a device compared to similar devices.

Energy Star Version

The Energy Star Version is the version of Energy Star that a device received when put through the testing procedures to qualify it as energy efficient. Devices that are Energy Star compliant help you save money as a result of reduced power consumption. Additionally, you are selecting a device that helps lower carbon emissions. Each Energy Star version has various test procedures and conditions that measure specific criteria in order for a device to receive an Energy Star rating.  When devices meet the criteria, they are able to use the Energy Star label for their branding.

One thing to note for our European copier and printer services is that there is no longer an EU-US Energy Star program. On February 20, 2018, the Energy Star Agreement between the EU and USA expired. Products already approved and using the Energy Star label were allowed to leave their products and marketing materials as is.

Energy Star energystar.gov

All this talk about energy has me a little drained, but hopefully this sheds some light on several important specifications for print imaging devices that we track at gap intelligence. Until next time, let us know if there are any copier or printer specifications that you would like us to explore in more depth.

For more than 17 years, gap intelligence has served manufacturers and sellers by providing world-class services monitoring, reporting, and analyzing the 4Ps: prices, promotions, placements, and products. Email us at info@gapintelligence.com or call us at 619-574-1100 to learn more.