What are network-connected devices?

Until recently, only computers and networking equipment such as modems and routers were connected to a communications network. Today, it is common for TVs and set-top-boxes to be network connected. However network connectivity is rapidly becoming available in all types of devices – including games consoles, DVD recorders, lights, security systems, smoke detectors, ventilation systems, thermostats, fridges, washing machines, coffee makers, and more products are coming onto the market all the time. A network connection means that these devices can be controlled and send and receive information.

What are the benefits of network-connected devices?

Network connectivity offers many benefits, including the ability for devices to:

  • Be remotely controlled.
  • Transmit information to users – e.g. “your coffee is ready”.
  • Talk to each other – e.g. “when door is opened, turn lights on”.
  • Receive information from the internet – e.g. firmware upgrades, TV program guides and recipes.
  • Be controlled in response to electricity peak times and tariffs – “demand response”.

Why do network-connected devices demand the attention of governments and others?

There is a risk that energy used by devices to remain network connected could be overlooked, and undermine the efficiencies achieved world-wide through appliance standards and labelling. The number of devices is increasing rapidly; trends indicate that there could be more than 100 billion network-enabled devices by 2030, compared with roughly 14 billion today. There is a significant opportunity to reduce energy consumption by implementing the best available technologies and solutions.

What is "network standby"?

Network standby refers to how much power is used by a device just to maintain its connection to a communications network.

What is the “Internet of Things”?

The internet of things is the network of physical objects accessed through the internet. Such objects have the ability to sense changes in their surroundings, and communicate with each other. The internet of things is expected to rely heavily on sensors and machine to machine communication – i.e. objects communicating and making decisions without human intervention.

What can be done to minimise energy use?

There are several technical areas to focus on:

  • Ensure that devices are designed to be as efficient as possible – e.g. use of most efficient semiconductors and circuit design.
  • Ensure that devices power down to the lowest possible power modes.
  • Ensure that devices remain in the lowest power mode for the longest possible period of time

All of these should be implemented without compromising device functionality or user experience.

What will EDNA do?

EDNA will monitor, measure and report the energy consumed by network connected devices and their associated networks, and help to align the policies of EDNA member countries in order to minimise energy consumption.

What areas will EDNA focus on?

In addition to market surveillance and policy alignment, EDNA will facilitate the consensus development of test methods, efficiency metrics, product categories, efficiency levels, standards, communication protocols and the like.