Contact: Ben Somberg, 202-658-8129, firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington, DC—The Appliance Standards Awareness Project issued the following statement from Andrew deLaski, its executive director, in response to the U.S. House of Representatives passing HR 1640, which would block the Department of Energy from finalizing a proposed rule that would reduce the energy use of many electric and gas stoves by about 30%:
“The Energy Department’s proposed efficiency standards for electric and gas stoves would ensure all models heat pots and pans efficiently, saving money for their users and protecting the planet. Many models today already do the same amount of cooking with less electricity or less gas than some of their lower-performing peers. Saving households money while ensuring good performance and features are available should be a no-brainer, and that’s exactly what the Energy Department has proposed. Congress certainly isn’t helping consumers if it blocks this progress.
“If the department finalizes the rule as it should, manufacturers would need to update some of their electric models to reduce standby power consumption and improve the burner and grate designs of some of their gas models. That’s really what we’re talking about here. You wouldn’t know it from the things some manufacturers and lawmakers have said.”
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently proposed the first efficiency performance standards for new gas and electric residential stoves and cooktops and updated design standards for new residential ovens. The proposed standards would save U.S. consumers up to $1.7 billion and avert about 22 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions over 30 years of sales.
Stoves on the market today vary widely in their efficiency—even from one gas or electric model to another. The proposed standards for stoves would set separate efficiency requirements for electric smooth, electric coil, and gas models. Stoves have never had to meet any efficiency performance requirements. Today, some gas models use far more energy than others to do the same amount of cooking, and electric smooth models have a wide variation as well. DOE estimates that its proposed standards would reduce energy use by about 30% for both types to do the same amount of cooking, relative to the least efficient products on the market today.
The standards would ensure that all models take advantage of proven improvements already in use by many stoves today. For gas stoves, DOE’s analysis found that the proposed efficiency level could be met by optimizing burner and grate design (including grate weight, flame angle, and distance from burner ports to the cooking surface). Nearly half of the total gas stove market already meets the proposed efficiency level, including all entry-level models. And DOE has ensured that products with high-output burners and continuous cast iron grates—premium features that can increase energy use—can still be made to meet the standard.
For electric smooth cooktops, the proposed efficiency level could be met by reducing standby power consumption using low-standby-loss electronic controls. The proposed standards for ovens would require that the control systems of both electric and gas models use efficient power supplies. Most models already meet these requirements.
The proposed standards, which have been under development since 2014, are long overdue. DOE missed a 2017 legal deadline for issuing a final rule that should have resulted in new standards taking effect in 2020. If finalized, the recently proposed standards would take effect in 2027, providing manufacturers adequate time to incorporate efficiency improvements across their product lines.
Inefficient cooking products cost consumers more over the lifetime of the product because they require more energy to operate. DOE's proposed standards for each type of product would ensure that any increase in purchase cost is paid back in electric and gas bill savings. DOE estimates that these standards along with those under development for other household appliances and products will together save consumers about $570 billion over 30 years of sales, resulting in annual savings of more than $100 per household.
The proposed cooking product standards would cut 245 thousand tons of methane emissions, and 52 thousand tons of NOx emissions over 30 years of sales.
Combined with other standards under development, carbon dioxide emissions reductions would reach 2.4 billion metric tons over 30 years of product sales, an amount equal to the emissions from 21 coal-fired power plants over that period. The cooking product standards would also improve indoor air quality for homes with gas stoves by enabling the same amount of cooking with less combustion.
The Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP) advocates for appliance, equipment, and lighting standards that cut planet-warming emissions and other air pollution, save water, and reduce economic and environmental burdens for low- and moderate-income households. ASAP’s steering committee includes representatives from environmental and efficiency nonprofits, consumer groups, the utility sector, and state government.