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nunz

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#116796 10-May-2013 11:01
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EECA, the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority have announced that "From 1 October 2013 all computers must, by law, meet minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) to be sold in New Zealand. If you import or manufacture computers, notebooks, or small scale servers" *

What this means is that affected items (see below) will need to undergo a compliance and regsitration process (see below ) in order to be sold. This has huge ramifications on the IT industry (IMHO)

The process being implemented ( See below) is binding on all manufacturers of computers, be it someone who manufactures 10000 pcs or someone who manufactures 1.

SUMMARY:
This legislation really concerns me because:
  • It adds huge compliance costs to those who build one off computers,
  • It looks like it was written by someone non-technial and has huge holes in it,
  • It is forcing builders of computers to pay for receiving compliance standards (>$200)
  • Builders have to register all computer models on foreign government web sites
  • Increases the cost of building 1 off computers by over $900 per unit. It will force small business who build computers out of business.

Computers Affected:*
All computers that are imported or manufactured in New Zealand for sale or hire, including:
  •  desktop computers
  •  notebooks
  •  small scale servers

The following computers do not need to comply with MEPS:*
  • Personal digital assistants (PDAs).
  • Palmtop computers and smartphones.
  • Games consoles.
  • Blade, slate or thin client computers.
  • Workstations.
  • Computers that are not connected to mains voltage or by external power supply.

So who is a manufacturer?
According to the information I can gather it is anyone who manufactures, imports a computer. If you build a computer from components you are a manufacturer.

So whats the problem?

EECA are requring ALL computer manufacturers to register ALL models of manufactured Pc with them. The registration process is as follows:*

"What do I need to do to comply with the law?"

As an importer or manufacturer of computers, you are required to:

  • Step 1. Ensure each computer model has been tested to the AS/NZS 5813.1
  • Step 2. Ensure each computer model has efficiencies that meet or exceed the minimum energy performance levels specified in AS/NZS 5813.2.
  • Step 3. Register each computer model through the energy rating website.
  • Step 4. Provide product sales, import and export data each year to EECA.

Here is where it starts to bite:
  • Step 1 - Compliance testing requires you to test power efficiency on all models of computer. To test whether a computer is 85% efficient at 100% power load you will need to have a device that sits between the power supply and the computer and is capable of running the computer to 100% power usage. I personally dont have that type of equipment and I'm sure it wont come cheap. what is more the standards you have to comply with have to be PURCHASED - you need to pay for the information required on how to be compliant. This is a rort.
  • Step 2 - Computers need to be fixed at the hardware level to automatically go into power idle / shutdown mode after 30 minutes of inactivity. Kiss goodbye to video watching, backups, anti virus runs, screen savers, presentations etc. unless you, the end user are able to figure out how to set the hardware settings back to something that doesnt auto turn off when you are not fiddling with the keyboard. Servers with hardware power savings modes? I've yet to see a system that effectivly handles power savings for AV, downloads, backups or server work.
  • Step 3 - Register - all models need to be registered on an AUSTRALIAN govenrment website. Since when did we become a vassal state of Australia? We, NZ citizens, are now required to REGSITER on a foreign states web site - You must be joking.
  • Step 4 Paper work, compliance and cost.

EECA put out a Consultation draft% for stakeholder comment issued pursuant to S36 (2) of the Energy  Efficiency & Conservation Act 2000% in Sept 2011. The list of those consulted is below^ As you will see it was mostly Australians with a couple of NZ larger firms thrown in.

They further state it will only affect about 58 businesses in NZ but yet all manufacturers of Pcs are affected. Small businesses like mine are going to get bitten and have been forgotten.

Finally:

The total maximum beneft to NZ is calculated to be $264m of cumulative benefit by 2025. This compliance will save NZ an average of $2.3m per year - I hate to think what the cost of Govt oversight of this shambles will be.
Compliance for a new model will cost you (from EECA document)%

  • Product registration (in Australia only) A$150 – A$280 Depending on registering authority used (No NZ figure but we have to reigster using gov.au site so assume same as for aussies)
  • Standards A$200 - Typical cost of a 2 part standard (must be purchased )
  • Testing costs (computers) A$500 – A$1,000  Typical cost of test at NATA27 accredited lab. In house test reports are acceptable for product registration
  • Testing costs (monitors) A$800 Typical cost of test at NATA28 accredited lab. In house test reports
The information I have seen and the materials provided by EECA have holes in them big enough to drive a Mac truck through. For example:
  1. What constitutes a new model of computer? Different CPU? Different case? different graphics card?
  2. When does a rebuild of an old computer constitute a new PC? Therefore requiring registration? if I take a new PC and put in one old component is that a rebuild or a new model?
  3. Desktops need to be registered, work stations dont? what is the difference? Even using official types of definition of work station I cant divide between the two. http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/W/workstation.html 
  4. When does a small server become a large server?
  5. Gaming PCs - you design them to chew through power. Efficiency? Is it good to have an 85% efficient 2kw monster and bad to have an 80% efficient 0.1kw baby PC? (think the raspberry pi)

Conclusion:
I am an NZ citizen. I should not be forced to register my work product on foreign government web sites. This is a sovereign state, legislation and compliance should stay inside NZ jurisdiction.
Forcing me to add over $1000 to the cost of building one off computers is insane
This to me looks like a process and legislation written by non-technical people who have made a hash of it. The materials I have seen a loose and unenforcable.
Consultation was for the big guys and Aussies only. This is not fair on thousands of small businesses around NZ



*MEPS pdf produced by EECa and distributed to those manufacturing or imprting computers.
% proposed-standards-computers-oct-2011.pdf - EECA
^ firms consulted.
Table 7: Timetable of open consultation meetings
Date Location Notes
Nov 2007 Auckland EECA met with Westpac, Renaissance (Apple suppliers),
ICT, IBM, HP, Lenovo, Sharp, ASA, NZ Retail Association,
Noel Leaming, Farmers, Panasonic, Genii, Ricoh, Ministry
for the Environment (MfE), The Warehouse, CEANZ,
Phillips
19 Dec 2007 Melbourne Les Winton consumer survey group
8 Feb 2008 Grand Stamford North Ryde E3 open meeting – CESA, Choice, Aust Computer
Society,
8 Feb 2008 HP head office North Ryde AIIA sustainability group
20 Feb 2008 Seville Apartments., Canberra AIIA, HP, Dell, Apple and Lenovo
22 May 2008 Medina Grand, Sydney AIIA, CESA, Apple, BenQ, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel,
Lenovo, Panasonic, Samsung Electronics, Sharp, Sony
July 2008 Computers Off Australia launch,
Hilton Sydney
Presentation to attendees on overview of proposed MEPS
29 July 2008 Menzies Hotel, Sydney Acer, Apple, Asus, BenQ, Cisco, Dell, HP, IBM, Intel, Ipex,
Lenovo, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, Sony, Viewsonic,
AIIA, CESA
24 September
2008
Mercure, Sydney AIIA, Distance, HP, IBM, Intel, Lenovo, NEC, Philips,
Samsung, Sony
30 October
2008
Federation Square, Melbourne Gershon Report presentation/ meeting with AIIA
23 April 2009 Menzies Hotel, Sydney AIIA, HP, Apple, Samsung, Dell, Intel, Sony, Viewsonics,
Panasonic, CESA, Sharp
Various Various One-on-one meeting with manufacturers over two years,
predating the open meetings.
Various Telecomference Consultations with overseas offices of manufacturers over
two years.
October 2010 Sydney E3 open meeting – CESA, AIIA, industry representatives,




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freitasm
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  #815097 10-May-2013 11:08
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Great. Price increase coming up soon...





 

 

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nunz

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  #815102 10-May-2013 11:13
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freitasm: Great. Price increase coming up soon...


worse - you will only be able to buy from dick Smith or harvey norman etc as people who build bespoke systems wont be able to - unless you have a spare $1000 to fork out.


 
 
 
 


l43a2
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  #815118 10-May-2013 11:22
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why the hell are they doing this.





Handle9
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  #815121 10-May-2013 11:23
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This is a storm in a tea cup. The rules only apply for units of 200 per annum. If you are someone making 200 units or more of the same PC then you will need to be certified etc but as soon as you use a different motherboard or graphics card etc then it's a different model.

For small production runs (200 units or less per annum) the following requirements apply. This means that the power supply importer distributor will be provide this info, and there is no burden on the assembler, other than registration which is free :

Alternative requirements for small production runsThere will be "deemed-to-comply" provisions for computer models where less than 200 units are manufactured per year. The model must be registered on the energy rating website. However it will be exempt from typical energy consumption (TEC) requirements if it uses an internal power supply that meets the standard below, or an external power meeting the requirements of energy performance mark V.
  • AS/NZS 5814.1:2012 sets out Method of Measurement for internal power supplies.
  • AS/NZS 4665.1:2005 sets out the test method and energy performance mark for external power supplies.
There is no requirement to register the internal power supply, however it must qualify as an internal power supply that meets or exceeds:
  • 85 per cent efficiency when tested at 20 per cent of rated power;
  • 88 per cent efficiency when tested at 50 per cent of rated power;
  • 85 per cent efficiency when tested at 100 per cent of rated power; and
  • power factor of 0.9 when tested at 100 per cent of rated power.


From the EECA website:

http://www.eeca.govt.nz/content/computers-and-monitors

littlehead
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  #815157 10-May-2013 11:47
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This essentially means that all power supplies must be rated 80 Plus Silver or higher. Just doing a quick  comparison of power supplies on PriceSpy, the price difference between same or similar wattage power supplies from the same manufacturer with the same form factors etc, we are looking at a price increase of around $10 - $60. That's assuming that you weren't purchasing a compliant power supply in the first place.

My one question around this is what constitutes a "manufacturer"? Does a private citizen building their own PC for their own use without the intention to sell it need to register? I would assume no, but looking through the discussion document does not make this clear.

nunz

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  #815166 10-May-2013 12:00
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Handle9: This is a storm in a tea cup. The rules only apply for units of 200 per annum. If you are someone making 200 units or more of the same PC then you will need to be certified etc but as soon as you use a different motherboard or graphics card etc then it's a different model.

For small production runs (200 units or less per annum) the following requirements apply. This means that the power supply importer distributor will be provide this info, and there is no burden on the assembler, other than registration which is free :

Alternative requirements for small production runsThere will be "deemed-to-comply" provisions for computer models where less than 200 units are manufactured per year. The model must be registered on the energy rating website. However it will be exempt from typical energy consumption (TEC) requirements if it uses an internal power supply that meets the standard below, or an external power meeting the requirements of energy performance mark V.
  • AS/NZS 5814.1:2012 sets out Method of Measurement for internal power supplies.
  • AS/NZS 4665.1:2005 sets out the test method and energy performance mark for external power supplies.
There is no requirement to register the internal power supply, however it must qualify as an internal power supply that meets or exceeds:
  • 85 per cent efficiency when tested at 20 per cent of rated power;
  • 88 per cent efficiency when tested at 50 per cent of rated power;
  • 85 per cent efficiency when tested at 100 per cent of rated power; and
  • power factor of 0.9 when tested at 100 per cent of rated power.


From the EECA website:

http://www.eeca.govt.nz/content/computers-and-monitors



I stand corrected on the number of PCs required before you are required to test them - EECA very kindly failed to put that into their PDF they sent out.

However, I still object and am concerned about:
1 - Registering on an Aussie website. NZ is still a sovereign state.
2 - The cost of registering a product was indicated at $200-280 AUD in the EECA papers for discussion
3 - The legislation / papers as the stand are fuzzy. Desktops are included, workstations are excluded
4 - Testing a total computer is a ludicrous way of doing things. Products like a small IBM or HP server get shipped with differing specifications. How do you register / manage them? A G3 might have one hard drive or five. It may have 1 NIC or four. How is this covered.

Lastly, All this paper work and compliance will save at best 264m between now and 2025 and yet will cost the industry, consumer and tax payer a whole lot more. Its another example of beauracracy gone wrong.




nunz

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  #815170 10-May-2013 12:02
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Even if you modify a standard Pc you may need to register it or make it MEPs compliant if you hire or sell it.

For poeple like Menu-mate etc who use systems in all their cafes, hotels etc, it means they need to have complient machines and also those machines will face new power saving restrictions etc.

No provision has been made for computers and devices where power saving mode is not appropriate - ie small servers etc.

In my personal opinion they have done this the wrong way. They are testing complete Pcs but the testing looks more like the testing that a power supply should need to go through.
E.g. a computer needs to be 90% efficient at 100% power usage. I know how you can test a PSu to do that but a whole computer?

Also they say a category D desktop computer (the least efficient) must have a typical energy consumption of <234 kWh per annum. A gaming unit can chew through 1.5kW/h with some of the new graphics cards added in. Does this mean you can only run it on average for 0.75 hours per day? A server will chew through 500w per hour with three or four hard drives and one network card. what happens to these computers? They wont match the standards.

Green hard drives were tried and failed. They wound down to rapidly and up too slowly killing server performance. New SSD drives are mre efficient but at 10x the price of sata are too expensive. Small servers like the one described are covered under this legislation.

There is an EECA meeting in Chch to explain the leigslation and how it affects you.

Wednesday, May 22

10:30 to 11:30am

Chateau on the Park

Matai St, Riccarton


It might be worth being there.

 
 
 
 


hamish225
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  #815269 10-May-2013 14:25
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so if i want to build myself a new computer, i'll go to my local computer shop and buy the power supply, motherboard, hard drive etc and put it together then start using it.

what kind of enforcement are they going to do? are the police going to come into my house and demand to see my computer's registration documents or something?





hamish225
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  #815271 10-May-2013 14:29
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sounds like another law we can all just SecretlyNotSoSecretly ignore.

I mean i'm all for saving power but this is just ridiculous.





ubergeeknz
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  #815277 10-May-2013 14:38
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hamish225: so if i want to build myself a new computer, i'll go to my local computer shop and buy the power supply, motherboard, hard drive etc and put it together then start using it.

what kind of enforcement are they going to do? are the police going to come into my house and demand to see my computer's registration documents or something?


Only if you start using it to p2p Rihanna.

Dratsab
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  #815300 10-May-2013 15:18
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nunz: However, I still object and am concerned about:
1 - Registering on an Aussie website. NZ is still a sovereign state.
2 - The cost of registering a product was indicated at $200-280 AUD in the EECA papers for discussion
3 - The legislation / papers as the stand are fuzzy. Desktops are included, workstations are excluded
4 - Testing a total computer is a ludicrous way of doing things. Products like a small IBM or HP server get shipped with differing specifications. How do you register / manage them? A G3 might have one hard drive or five. It may have 1 NIC or four. How is this covered.

Lastly, All this paper work and compliance will save at best 264m between now and 2025 and yet will cost the industry, consumer and tax payer a whole lot more. Its another example of beauracracy gone wrong. 


I kind of see where you're coming from with some of what you say. My first port of call was the EECA website once I read your post. I was about to post exactly what Handle9 said, then I scrolled down and saved myself some embarrassment :-)

In regards to point one - I'd say computers here would be registered on an Australian site as we share a joint standard so it makes sense to have one register. It also makes sense to have that register in Australia as they've got a couple more people in their population than we do.

In regards to point two - follow the link posted by Handle9. Paragraph 2 under Requirements for computers states: There is no cost to register products in New Zealand.

That same paragraph also answers the question that instantly sprang to mind in relation to second hand goods - exempt.

In regards to point three - you're probably right. Situation normal.

In regards to point four - this will be something the large companies will be taking care of in conjunctions with the large resellers. You should be ride along on their coat tails.

nunz: Even if you modify a standard Pc you may need to register it or make it MEPs compliant if you hire or sell it. ...snip...

There is an EECA meeting in Chch to explain the leigslation and how it affects you. ...snip... It might be worth being there. 


You'll definitely need to register it if it was manufactured or brought into NZ after 1 October. It'll be exempt otherwise. Again, from Hanle9's link: Non-compliant computer stock imported into, or manufactured in New Zealand before October 2013 may continue to be sold. Second-hand sales are not covered by the Regulations.

You're spot on about the meetings. Definitely worth attendance by anyone who thinks they're going to be affected. Witha bit of luck, the information will be presented in an easy to digest format.

hamish225: so if i want to build myself a new computer, i'll go to my local computer shop and buy the power supply, motherboard, hard drive etc and put it together then start using it. 

what kind of enforcement are they going to do? are the police going to come into my house and demand to see my computer's registration documents or something?


No enforcement, you don't need to worry abou the police coming round about this, it's all in the link Handle9 provided. Mattress police on the other hand, are an entirely different kettle of fish - they could be round at any time!

EDIT: for consistency!

cr250bromo
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  #815334 10-May-2013 16:31
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If we didn't share standards with Australia, the costs on the NZ public would be much higher than they are now in developing and settings standards over a much smaller population base.

Sharing a standard with Australia (as our markets are very similar) increases efficiency and reduces costs, so I don't think the complaint on that point is relevant.

/ben

Nil Einne
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  #816384 12-May-2013 19:55
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What's all this fuss about idle anyway? I had a look at the draft standards AS/NZS 5813.1 and .2, and it doesn't seem to impose any requirement for sleep mode in a small scale server, in fact it says N/A about the maximum time to sleep for small scale servers in .2 and in .1 say there's no need to test sleep mode for small scale servers. (Well except the displays.) It does have some idle mode power saving requirements for small scale servers and possibly they're supposed to be enabled by default (I didn't check) but I don't think this is surprising, AFAIK most server CPUs and mobos do have power saving modes and it isn't uncommon for OSes (and I'm guessing large manufacturers) to enable these be default because for many servers they do benefit and if properly designed they should not cause problems. While I obviously didn't look well enough to say, I didn't see anything suggesting that it be made difficult for these to manage so I presume any competent server admin would generally easily be able to disable power savings completely if they desire.

Also, while there is a maximum time to sleep for desktop, integrated and notebook computers which has to be enabled by default I don't see anything about it being in hardware (ignoring the requirements that there needs to be some basic support) for sleep mode, in fact it says if the manufacturer is not supplying the OS then they don't have to comply which goes against the either it's supposed to be in hardware. If I'm understanding the draft correctly (I'm a bit confused on this point), it's also okay if you supply an OS like FreeDOS or Linux (sic, according to both documents) which can't activate the sleep mode although you still have to test the sleep mode by using an OS that does. The computer needs to wake up (becoming fully usable including display) from sleep mode in less than 5 second BTW.

While I didn't look that well, the only point on something at the hardware level is that enterprise computers with ethernet capability which are required to have WOL and also RTC wake up available need to also make this centrally and remotely manageable even if it's controlled at the hardware level. (WOL in particular needs to be either on by default, except for notebooks computer disconnected from the AC which don't have this requirement; or enableable from both the client operating system and remotely.)

As I said, I only looked at the drafts, primarily because I have no desire to pay money since this doesn't affect me that much but I'm not seeing anything in there that's a major concern. The requirements to sleep by default aren't really that surprising and probably already common in many OSes and for large manufacturer computers. If you have seen the standard and there are areas of major concern perhaps you can describe them. But if you're only going to by some random explanatory PDF would suggest caution, at the very least it's likely wise to seek clarification since such documents are often confusing about the specifics and sometimes plain wrong (a certain other thread about using the camera on a phone while driving comes to mind). Similarly with rumours from other places which didn't clearly specify what the standard actually says. Really the more important issue here may be the reminder that we still have to pay to be able to see many of our standards online.

BTW I've been watching long videos (without ads i.e. no keyboard necessary) sometimes qued, on computers for over 10 years. Sometimes I even did it while doing other stuff and probably didn't touch the computer for 2 hours or more. While I usually disable idle modes for a variety of reasons, I normally do not disable monitor off settings. I can't remember the last time I had a problem with the monitor turning off when I'm watching, I'm pretty sure it was very long ago. Ergo it's rather unlikely I would have ever had problems with the computer going to sleep when watching something. And this applies to most other people I know. If you're having problems with this, I suggest either change the OS or change the media player or both.

Now downloads can be more of a problem although many P2P clients are learning to handle this. With a decent system, setting up the computer to wake from S3 which the draft seems to refer to or even S4 for AV or backups shouldn't be too hard.

Edit: One final comment. If I understand the draft correctly from my brief look, I don't think the active/work mode power consumptions actually comes in to play for the typical energy consumption calculations for any sort of computers, not even by 1%. Manufacturer can (optionally?) report the active power consumption but that's about it. In other words, if you have a 1.5kW consuming computer, it could easily be category A provided its short idle (for a desktop), sleep and off consumption figures are low enough. Of course if you really use highly demanding apps 24/7 your consumption may not be typical, but I think that's besides the point.

nunz

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  #816659 13-May-2013 12:37
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Nil Einne: What's all this fuss about idle anyway? I had a look at the draft standards AS/NZS 5813.1 and .2, and it doesn't seem to impose any requirement for sleep mode in a small scale server, in fact it says N/A about the maximum time to sleep for small scale servers in .2 and in .1 say there's no need to test sleep mode for small scale servers. (Well except the displays.) It does have some idle mode power saving requirements for small scale servers and possibly they're supposed to be enabled by default



The specs state that all computers covered by this legislation (including small servers) state that they need hardware level power saving turned on at delivery which powers down the computer after 30 minutes of idle.  How does hardware know what idle means - that's hard enough to do sometimes at OS level.


In regards to point two - follow the link posted by Handle9. Paragraph 2 under Requirements for computers states: There is no cost to register products in New Zealand.


Do you think the aussie govt is going to charge their folks AUD200-280 and let us do it for free?  We dont register the Pcs in Nz, we register them in Australia.

The govt went through a similar process with health foods and other non-food food items and the costs for small businesses were enough for them to have to look at getting out of business.

smaller businesses (I'm thinking the likes of cyclone Computers a an example) will find the economy of scale bites them - the only way to avoid it is to do 199 of one model, take the cheap alternatie to register and then do another 199. Oh hang on - is it 200 total per year you manufacture? if it is and they have four r five models and only a small scale run it will hurt a lot.

Global PC type shops will also get bitten - they have multiple models, changing quickly across two or three stores.

The cost per model to get it compient will be about $1000. Thats a lot of cost for smaller scale -non exempt businesses.

Who makes money from this? The peopel selling the standards and doing the tests do - that's not right to sart with.




gzt

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  #816813 13-May-2013 15:27
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This is the latest: http://www.eeca.govt.nz/sites/all/files/Computer--factsheet-may-2013.pdf

Interesting from http://www.eeca.govt.nz/content/computers-and-monitors

"The MEPS will cover all computers that are imported or manufactured in New Zealand for sale or hire, including:

- desktop computers
- notebooks
- small scale servers.

The following computers do not need to comply with MEPS:

- personal digital assistants (PDAs)
- palmtop computers and smartphones
- games consoles
- blade, slate or thin client computers
- workstations
- computers that are not connected to mains voltage or by external power supply"


Does this mean everyone will rename desktops to workstations to avoid the requirements ? ; ).

Imho the power supply efficiency requirements are not onerous and will add very little to the cost of PCs over time. Local component suppliers will increase volume on the good stuff, problem solved. This part looks like normal operation of other similar efficiency standards.

Not so sure about the rest of the standard - it seems to lack a concise summary of the actual requirements so far.

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