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Latest News


Home appliance manufacturers and energy efficiency advocates have agreed to improved energy and water efficiency standards for room air conditioners, washing machines, clothes dryers, refrigerators, freezers and dishwashers that will net billions of dollars in reductions to the nation's utility bills.

According to a news release from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) one of the participating groups, the agreement could:
  • Save enough energy to meet the total energy needs of 40 % of American homes for one year.
  • Save the amount of water necessary to meet the current water needs of every customer in the City of Los Angeles for 25 years.
  • Reduce global warming CO2 by 550 million metric tons over the same time period.

In addition, these reductions do not take into consideration the emissions reductions from smart appliances.

In terms of energy savings per type of appliance, the agreement would:
  • Reduce new refrigerator and freezer energy use by up to 30% by 2014.
  • Reduce top loading clothes washers energy use by 26% and water use by 16% by 2014, with additional savings in 2018.
  • Reduce dishwashers' energy use by 14% and water use by 23% in 2013.
  • Improve efficiency of clothes dryers by 5% in 2015.
  • Improve efficiency of room air conditioners by 10% to 15% in 2014.

Major home appliance manufacturers, their trade organization and a nationwide coalition of energy and water efficiency supporters have called for new national minimum efficiency standards, production tax credits for super-efficient appliances and inclusion of "smart grid" readiness as a feature of future ENERGY STAR qualified appliances, the news release states.

"This joint proposal will make the next generation of major home appliances the thriftiest ever when it comes to energy and water use," said Steven Nadel, executive director of ACEEE.  "The resulting energy and water savings will cut bills for consumers by billions of dollars and reduce global warming emissions for decades to come."

For a typical household, products just meeting the new standards would cut their total electric bill by about 6% relative to products just meeting the current standards, according to analysis by ACEEE. The net total national benefits for consumers for products purchased through 2030 will reach nearly $30 billion.

ACEEE analysis shows that estimated upfront cost increases to make products more efficient will pay back in lower energy bills well within the life of the affected products, often within just a few years.

Participants in the agreement will pursue adoption of these recommendations through administrative action by the Department of Energy and through legislative action by Congress.

Groups participating in the agreement include ACEEE, the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers the Consumer Federation of America and the National Resources Defense Council.

Read the full ACEEE news release.