Task D: Network Standby

The Standby Power and Low Energy Networks report was released in September 2010.  To download the Low Energy Networks report, click here.  Also available for download are the Guiding Principles for Energy Efficiency in Networked Products.


Network products include equipment that makes up the network (products whose main function is the network itself) and end-use devices which are connected to either a local area or wide area network. The proliferation and range of technologies connected to various networks have substantial implications for energy consumption, however they also pose specific and special challenges when developing policy approaches for standby power. Nevertheless, without effective action on networking products, much of the projected benefits of standby policies will fail to materialise.


Unlike individual devices and equipment, network products are affected by the behaviour of other products or operators on the network, with much of the potential for energy savings focusing around the ability of networks to allow products to go into low power modes for extended periods when they are not required. Most networks have large volumes of network traffic (most of which is irrelevant or of low priority), which under current protocals confound efforts to implement effective energy management. Currently and understandably, networks are primarily designed for smooth and fast operation rather than the energy consumption of the attached equipment. The challenge is to develop hardware and software interfaces that can let products minimise their energy consumption without losing network functionality.


Activities pertaining to networking products include:

  • Examine the range of network related functions and their associated power levels in order to set technically robust functional allowances for different network functions.
  • Undertake a review of network based communication protocals to identify areas where energy management responses can be incorporated into different network communication structures in order to reduce energy consumption while maintaining the required level of network connectivity.
  • Promote power management protocols within standard network communication architectures for mains power connected products.
  • Promote innovative power management and auto power down solutions for individual devices to move them from active mode to lower power modes wherever possible.


The specific deliverables for this task include:

  • Undertake a technical review of international and industry standards and protocals for network products and identify key shortcomings in terms of energy management within networks.
  • Develop a range of network functional allowances wihch could be used in a horizontal approach to standby power.
  • Identify and liaise with major industry stakeholders and the IEC.
  • Organise workshops and conferences on network related energy issues.
  • Promote energy management protocals within standby network communication architectures.

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