Uninterruptible Power Supplies


Uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) provide backup power and typically are used to ensure the continued operation of computers, data center equipment, telecommunications equipment, and other devices in the event of a power failure.


DOE originally proposed standards for UPS as part of the 2012 battery chargers rule. However, DOE later determined that a new test method for measuring UPS efficiency was needed. In December 2016, DOE issued but did not officially publish a final rule for first-time standards for UPS. The standard defines three types of UPS and establishes minimum energy efficiency levels that come into effect two years after publication. DOE held up the publication of the standard three years until a court required them to publish it in early 2020.

California’s battery charger standards covered UPS starting in 2014. Colorado, Vermont, and Washington adopted state standards for UPS equivalent to the standards in the DOE final rule. States that adopted the standards prior to federal publication can implement the standards until the January 10, 2022 federal compliance date. The standards will reduce energy consumption for the most common types of UPS by 40–50%.


DOE estimates that 51% of shipments of uninterruptible power supplies meet the standards in the DOE final rule.

Savings through what year?: 2051
Energy saved (quads): 0.94
CO2 savings (million metric tons): 49
Net present value savings ($billion) 3% discount rate: 3.0
Net present value savings ($billion) 7% discount rate: 1.7


Federal Date States
Potential Effective Date of Updated Standard 2030
Updated DOE Standard Due 2028
1st Federal Standard Effective 2020
1st Federal Standard Adopted (DOE) 2020
Test Procedure - Last Revised - Active Mode 2016

Timeline reflects state standards from 2001 to present; federal standards from inception to present.