Yes it is programmed in a few ways. One the jets must be cycled or they would clog so surely over time you burn ink.
Next is the ink is not forever. So as time passes it must call the cartridge old and ask to replace it.
At just a dozen prints a year an ink jet may be the wrong printer. Could some regular low cost laser black/white printer do and then for color head to a print center?
I rarely print in color. B/W is always selected except for very important color needs. And yet, my color ink seems to run low about every 12 months. After several years, I'm starting to think this is a planned/programmed matter by HP to sell more ink...like the maintenance required light on my car coming on regularly every 12 months. My current color ink modules are about 1 year old and yet I've probably not printed in color more than a dozen times this past year. I just got notice that the Blue is about gone, and typically if I replace the Blue then right away the printer will indicate another needs replacing. So I end up replacing all..and I use HP ink modules not second source.