The Department of Energy (DOE) issued new efficiency standards today that will dramatically reduce the energy use of a little-known home energy hog. Furnace fans, which circulate heated and cooled air throughout a home, consume more than twice the electricity in a year as a typical new refrigerator. The new standards will cut the cost to power furnace fans by about 40% and also deliver improved comfort.
If you’re planning to buy a room air conditioner this summer, and need relief from both heat and high electricity bills, you are in luck. Energy efficiency standards due to take effect at the beginning of the summer will ensure that window air-conditioning units will give you more bang for your buck. As you stay cool, you will use less energy and keep more change in your pocket.
The struggle toward improved gas furnace efficiency standards may have an end in sight. Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit approved a settlement between the Department of Energy (DOE) and an industry trade group. In the settlement, DOE agreed to pull back efficiency standards completed in 2011 and develop new standards in their place within two years. This new rulemaking represents another opportunity to set strong furnace standards which will save energy and cut consumers’ heating bills.
New energy-saving standards for certain types of incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs proposed by the Department of Energy (DOE) last Friday mark another important step in improving lighting efficiency in the United States. DOE’s proposal further advances strong standards completed in 2009. Together, the 2009 standards and the proposed increases announced last week dramatically improve reflector lamp and fluorescent tube lamp efficiency by 70% and 23% respectively.
Late on Friday, the Department of Energy (DOE) proposed new efficiency standards for commercial icemakers, which make the ice provided by drink dispensers in fast food restaurants among many other uses. While the proposed standards would be a significant step toward improving icemaker efficiency, higher cost-effective efficiency levels could be achieved using commercially available technologies.
The Department of Energy (DOE) issued a final rule for strong new efficiency standards today that will take a big bite out of the energy consumption of the refrigerators and freezers used in supermarkets, convenience stores, restaurants, and commercial kitchens.
In his State of the Union address last month, President Obama said we need to “act with more urgency” on climate change and also pledged to make this “a year of action.” Fortunately, when it comes to new appliance, equipment, and lighting efficiency standards, the administration has already made very good progress.