Qualifying Criteria for Telephony

Version 2.2

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Products sold in Canada must meet all Canadian regulatory and safety requirements. Eligible equipment is to be qualified by the U.S. EPA.

In order to promote ENERGY STAR qualified telephony in Canada, manufacturers are required to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the US Environmental Protection Agency. We encourage manufacturers, retailers and distributors to sign a Participant Administrative Arrangement with Natural Resources Canada to take advantage of promotional and communications opportunities provided by the program. More information.

Please note that the U.S. EPA has made changes some changes to the ENERGY STAR qualification process, in particular to include mandatory third party testing. You can find more information about those changes on the following web site: http//

This criteria is the same as the program requirements published on the U.S. ENERGY STAR web site and is provided as information only. Administerd by Natural Resources Canada’s Office of Energy Efficiency, the ENERGY STAR program in Canada uses the term Participant to designate companies, organizations and stakeholders who promote the use of the ENERGY STAR mark on products or in promotional and marketing material and activities. This technical specification was modified to include this change. The use of the term Participant is similar in scope to that of Partner, which is used by the ENERGY STAR Program.

A product must meet all criteria to be eligible for ENERGY STAR qualification. Also, EPA and Natural Resources Canada both reserve the right to revise the specification should technological and/or market changes affect its usefulness to consumers or industry or its impact on the environment. A product must meet all of the identified criteria to earn the ENERGY STAR registered trademark.

1) Definitions

Product Types

  • A. Cordless Telephone
    A commercially available electronic product with a base station and a handset whose purpose is to convert sound into electrical impulses for transmission. The charging base of a cordless telephone or its external power supply are designed to plug into a wall outlet, and there is no physical connection between the portable handset and the phone jack.

  • B. Additional Handset
    A commercially available electronic product with a handset, charging base and battery, designed for use with multi-handset cordless telephones.

  • C. Answering Machine
    A commercially available electronic product, also known as a telephone answering device (TAD), whose purpose is to provide analog or digital storage of outgoing and incoming telephone messages by connecting to the telephone line between a phone and phone jack. An answering machine or its power supply are designed to plug into a wall outlet.

  • D. Combination Cordless Telephone/Answering Machine (Combination Unit)
    A commercially available electronic product in which a cordless telephone and answering machine are combined into a single unit, and which meets all of the following criteria:

    1. the answering machine is included in the base station of the cordless telephone;

    2. it is not possible to measure the power consumption of the two components separately without removal of the telephone casing;

    3. the combination unit is connected to a wall outlet through a single power cable or external power supply.

    4. there is no physical connection between the portable handset and the phone jack.
  • E. Cellular Telephone
    A commercially available electronic product that does not use a phone jack but instead uses radio waves to connect to a cellular telephone network.

  • F. Corded Telephone
    A commercially available electronic product that provides the same services as a cordless telephone, except that there is a physical connection between the handset and the jack. This definition includes the combination of a corded telephone and answering machine in a single unit.

  • G. Multi-Handset Technology
    A cordless telephone or combination unit that can support multiple additional handsets.

Operational Modes

  • H. Standby Mode
    The lowest power consumption mode which cannot be switched off (influenced) by the user and that may persist for an indefinite time when an appliance is connected to the main electricity supply and used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Standby Mode is the condition in which a telephony product is connected to a power source and is inactive (i.e., the unit is not transmitting a conversation or recharging a low battery). Standby mode for a TAD occurs when the device is idle.

  • I. Active Mode
    The power mode in which the product is connected to a power source and is transmitting telephone conversation, and/or playing/recording a message, and/or supplying current to charge a battery.

External Power Supply (EPS)
A component contained in a separate physical enclosure external to the telephony product casing and designed to convert line voltage ac input from the mains to lower dc voltage(s) for the purpose of powering the telephony product. An external power supply shall connect to the telephony product via a removable or hard-wired male/female electrical connection, cable, cord or other wiring.

Spread Spectrum Technology (SST)
A communication technique whereby the carrier frequency of a signal is automatically and rapidly changed to provide enhanced transmission range, extendable portable numbers, and additional security. This definition includes direct sequence (e.g., digital spread spectrum or DSS) and frequency hopping.

Product Family
A group of product models that are (1) made by the same manufacturer, (2) subject to the same ENERGY STAR qualification criteria, and (3) of a common basic design. Product models within a family differ from each other according to one or more characteristics or features that either (1) have no impact on product performance with regard to ENERGY STAR qualification criteria, or (2) are specified herein as acceptable variations within a product family. For Telephony, acceptable variations within a product family include:

1. Color, or
2. Housing.

2) Scope

2.1 Included Products


The following product types, as defined in Section 1, are eligible for ENERGY STAR qualification, including both analog and digital devices operating at any frequency, and excluding the product types listed in Section 2.2:

  1. Additional Handsets,

  2. Answering Machines (with optional SST),

  3. Cordless Telephones (with optional SST and/or Multi-handset), and

  4. Combination Units (with optional SST and/or Multi-handset).

2.2 Excluded Products


The following product types, as defined in Section 1 are not eligible for ENERGY STAR qualification under this specification:

  1. Cellular Telephones, and

  2. Corded Telephones.

3) Qualification Criteria

3.1 Significant Digits and Rounding


All calculations shall be carried out with actual measured or observed values. Only the final result of a calculation shall be rounded. Calculated results shall be rounded to the nearest significant digit as expressed in the corresponding specification limit.


Unless otherwise specified, compliance with specification limits shall be evaluated using exact values without any benefit from further rounding.

3.2 General Requirements


External Power Supply: If the product is shipped with an EPS, the EPS shall meet the level V performance requirements under the International Efficiency Marking Protocol in active mode. For Additional information:

  1. External Power Supplies shall meet level V requirements when tested using the Test Method for Calculating the Energy Efficiency of Single-Voltage External Ac-Dc and Ac-Ac Power Supplies, Aug. 11, 2004.

3.3 Standby Mode Requirements


Measured Standby Mode power, including any power consumed by an EPS, shall be less than or equal to the Maximum Standby Mode Power Requirement, as specified in Table 1.

Table 1: Maximum Standby Mode Power Requirements

Product Category Maximum Standby
Mode Power
Additional Handset 1.0
Answering Machine
Answering Machine with SST
Cordless Telephone
Cordless Telephone with SST
Cordless Telephone with Multi-Handset
Cordless Telephone with Multi-Handset and SST
Combination Unit
Combination Unit with SST
Combination Unit with Multi-Handset
Combination Unit with Multi-Handset and SST

4) Testing

4.1 Test Methods


When testing Telephony products, the test methods identified in Table 2 shall be used to determine ENERGY STAR qualification.

Table 2: Test Methods for ENERGY STAR Qualification

Product Type Test Method
All ENERGY STAR Test Method for Telephony, Rev. Aug-2010

4.2 Number of Units Required for Testing


Representative Models shall be selected for testing per the following requirements:

  1. For qualification of an individual product model, a product configuration equivalent to that which is intended to be marketed and labeled as ENERGY STAR is considered the Representative Model;

  2. For qualification of a product family, any product configuration within the family may be considered the Representative Model.

4.3 International Market Qualification


Products shall be tested for qualification at the relevant input voltage/frequency combination for each market in which they will be sold and promoted as ENERGY STAR

5) Effective Date

5.1 Effective Date

The Version 2.2 ENERGY STAR Telephony specification shall take effect on the date specified in Table 3. To qualify for ENERGY STAR, a product model shall meet the ENERGY STAR specification in effect on its date of manufacture. The date of manufacture is specific to each unit and is the date (e.g., month and year) on which a unit is considered to be completely assembled.

5.2 Future Specification Revisions

EPA/NRCan reserves the right to change this specification should technological and/or market changes affect its usefulness to consumers, industry, or the environment. In keeping with current policy, revisions to the specification are arrived at through stakeholder discussions. In the event of a specification revision, please note that the ENERGY STAR qualification is not automatically granted for the life of a product model.

Table 3: Specification Effective Dates

Effective Date
November 1, 2008

Test Mehod

1. Overview

The following test method shall be used for determining product compliance with requirements in the ENERGY STAR Technical Specification for Telephony.

2. Applicability

ENERGY STAR test requirements are dependent upon the feature set of the product under evaluation. The following guidelines shall be used to determine the applicability of each section of this document:

  • The Standby Mode test procedure in Section 7 shall be performed on all products.

3. Definitions

Unless otherwise specified, all terms used in this document are consistent with the definitions in the ENERGY STAR Eligibility Criteria for Telephony.

4. Test Set Up

  1. AC Input Power: Products intended to be powered from AC mains shall be connected to an external power supply (if applicable) and then connected to a voltage source appropriate for the intended market, as specified in Table 4.

    Table 4: Input Power Requirements

    Market Voltage Voltage
    Frequency Frequency
    North America, Taiwan 115 Vac +/- 1.0 % 2.0 % 60 Hz +/- 1.0 %
    Europe, Australia, New Zealand 230 Vac +/- 1.0 % 2.0 % 50 Hz +/- 1.0 %
    Japan 100 Vac +/- 1.0 % 2.0 % 50 Hz/60 Hz +/- 1.0 %

  2. Ambient Temperature: Ambient temperature shall be 23 ± 5 ° C.

  3. Relative Humidity: Relative humidity shall be from 10% to 80%.

  4. Power Meter: Power meters shall possess the following attributes:

    1. Crest Factor: Capability to measure the current waveform without clipping.

      1. The peak of the current waveform measured during Standby Mode shall determine the crest factor rating requirement and the appropriate current range setting.

      2. The full-scale value of the selected current range multiplied by the crest factor for that range shall be at least 15% greater than the peak current.

    2. Minimum Frequency Response: 3.0 kHz

    3. Minimum Resolution: 0.1 W or better

5. Test Conduct

  1. As-shipped Condition: The UUT shall be in new condition, and shall be tested in its “as-shipped” condition.

  2. Battery-powered Products: If the UUT contains rechargeable batteries, or can be integrated with another device that contains rechargeable batteries, all batteries shall be fully charged prior to the start of testing and shall remain in place for the duration of testing.

  3. Measurement Location: All power measurements shall be taken at a point between the ac power source and the UUT.

6. Pre-test UUT Initialization

  1. Prior to the start of testing, the UUT shall be initialized as follows:
    1. Set up the UUT in accordance with its instructions for use, except where these conflict with the requirements of the ENERGY STAR Product Specification. If no instructions for use are available, then factory or “default” settings shall be used.

    2. If the UUT includes rechargeable batteries, ensure that all batteries are in a fully-charged state.

    3. Connect the UUT to an external phone jack, if it has a phone line connection.

    4. Configure the UUT to its factory default settings.

    5. Connect the UUT to the test equipment.

    6. Power on all test equipment and properly adjust operation range.

    7. Set the power meter current range to a value greater than the peak current reading from the oscilloscope divided by the crest factor rating of the meter.

    8. Wait for 15 minutes, or until the unit has completed initialization and is ready for use.

    9. Measure and record the ac input voltage and frequency.

    10. Measure and record the test room ambient temperature.

7. Standby Mode Test

  1. Place the UUT in Standby Mode.

  2. Wait for at least 30 minutes to allow the UUT to reach operating temperature.

  3. Measure and record Standby Mode power in watts over a period of not less than 2 hours.

    1. If the UUT has different Standby Modes that can be manually selected, the measurement shall be taken with the device in the most power consumptive Standby Mode.

    2. If the UUT has different Standby Modes that are cycled through automatically, the measurement period shall be of sufficient duration to obtain a true average power that includes all modes.