Coffee makers and the power they consume are getting a hard look from European regulators. A recently released preparatory study for the E.U. made recommendations that would cut power consumption of household machines, in part by mandating an automatic power-down function after a predetermined time.
The recommendations are noteworthy for U.S. coffee drinkers in that energy regulations adopted for one part of the world often migrate in various forms worldwide as regulatory agencies try to harmonize their policies.
The European regulations particularly target coffee machines that incorporate a warming plate. Study authors claim these types of machines could be banned altogether in Europe by 2018. For now, though, the automatic shut-off feature is the primary means of implementing energy efficiency.
EU regulators are advocating a maximum shut-off delay of 30 minutes for most machines. Pressure machines, which push water through the coffee grounds under pressure, could see 15-minute delays.
Energy performance standards for all coffee makers could be introduced by 2014. Europeans could also see an energy labeling scheme for coffee makers similar to that adopted for Energy Star appliances in the U.S.
The working documents for the final report on coffee maker efficiency can be found here: http://www.ecocoffeemachine.org/documents.php