Do copiers use less electricity today than models from ten years ago did?
05 July 2023
We have recently announced how to compare the "typical electrical consumption" of printing equipment more thoroughly and more fairly. Our TEC(DMO) is now available to DataMaster Online subscribers, but we are happy to provide you with answers upon request.
One of the uses of our TEC(DMO) is to compare new machines with old ones. The standard Energy Star TEC does not let you compare new and old machines, as their procedure was totally changed in 2019.
Now DataMaster / Printer-Benchmark.com can properly examine all the claims the brands have been making about reducing the environmental impact of the copiers they make and sell.
No-one is more surprised than us to see that, for the most part, it really is true what they are saying!
However, it's not for the reason they thought.
The figures brands have published for elelctricity reduction are too close to the average difference between TEC2 and TEC3 (71-78%). Is it possible that some brand marketing people were unaware of the differences in the two test procedures, saw "TEC" and made a false comparison?
It is true that most new copiers consume less electricity when they're printing than their predecessors of ten years ago did, but for most brands, electrical consumption when running is not down by all that much. The really huge difference is in the decrease in stand-by mode consumption. The latest Energy Star procedure for measuring "typical electrical consumption" does include downtime at night and at weekends, and so do we. The old TEC did not. Our TEC(DMO) does.
Most users don't unplug their printers when they're not in use - so they stay in stand-by mode for 150 hours a week. It all adds up. New copiers sold in the EU are supposed to use less than half a Watt in stand by. The old Xerox ColorQube pulls 130 Watts! Yet this had No Impact on the machine's weekly TEC because Energy Star did not take it into account.
Similarly the 2013 Kyocera TASKalfa 2550ci used 32 times as much at night and on the weekend as the current TASKalfa 2554ci does. Toshiba have made huge progress too. The e-STUDIO 2525AC (2022) prints at just 324 Watts where the e-STUDIO 2540cse ran at 1.25 kW. The new machine actually consumes less electricity than any of its competitors in the 25 ppm segment. The Toshiba e-STUDIO 2525AC also has the lowest stand-by wattage of the machines selected for the comparison in our graphic, just 0.3 Watts. It has almost the lowest "ready" and "when running" electrical consumption too.
The graphic accompanying this article compares the typical weekly electrical consumption of each brand's mid-high range of 25 page per minute A3 colour MFPs. Using our sales-enablement service DMO we have clicked back up the generations to the equivalent machines from ten years ago, and compared their TEC(DMO) figures.
Our figures for weekly, typical electrical consumption are based on data published by the brands. Our modelling involves identical print volumes for each machine, and the data the manufacturers publish for both electrical consumption (when running, when in stand-by mode, etc) and for print speeds (FPOT, warm-up times etc).
Most of these machines are precisely 25 ppm, but not all. Unlike the Energy Star TEC values, ours are all based on identical print volumes - so this is a real apples:apples comparison.
All the brands are making a real effort to reduce electrical consumption, and we thank them all.
Some of the biggest reductions in power consumption (see graphic) are actually because their 2012-2013 machines were total power guzzlers. The exception does appear to be Canon, who have let their electrical consumption creep up since 2012-2013 (as regards 25 ppm colour A3 copiers) when their results were excellent. The 2012 iR Advance C2225i was one of the lowest-consuming copiers in its market when it came out. In stand-by it uses just 0.8 Watts: ahead of the market, and ahead of the legislation too! The 2020 iR Advance DX C3725i is not a market leader in this respect, but only because the other brands have all caught up with Canon now.
Compare these figures to the new heat-free Epson Workforce Enterprise AM-C4000. If we model this machine's consumption for the same print volume, it comes out at just 212 Wh/week. That's about half what its toner competitors consume. Did you think the gap would be wider?
Print professionals wanting to reduce environmental impact should ensure:
- Printing onto both sides of the sheet
- Printers are switched OFF when they are not in use
You can try out all our comparison tools by registering for a trial of DataMaster Online here
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