Commercial and industrial compressors are used in industrial facilities and commercial buildings to provide compressed air for a wide variety of processes such as the operation of pneumatic tools, pneumatic controls, and automated equipment.


DOE finalized the first federal standards for commercial and industrial air compressors in 2020, which require compliance starting on January 10, 2025. DOE issued a final rule at the end of 2016. However, the Department delayed final publication for three years until compelled by the courts. The standards apply only to lubricated rotary air compressors between 10 and 200 hp, which are used almost exclusively in industrial facilities. Other types of compressors such as reciprocating compressors, centrifugal compressors, and lubricant-free compressors are excluded from the scope of DOE’s regulation.

California, Colorado, Vermont, and Washington adopted the final DOE standards as state standards with a 2022 effective date. States that adopted the standards prior to publication of the national standards can implement the standards until the 2025 federal compliance date. 


Technology options for improving the efficiency of air compressors include improved controls, improved cooling fan efficiency, higher efficiency motors, variable speed drives, and use of multi-staging.

Savings through what year?: 2051
Energy saved (quads): .16
CO2 savings (million metric tons): 8.2
Net present value savings ($billion) 3% discount rate: 0.4
Net present value savings ($billion) 7% discount rate: 0.2


Federal Date States
Potential Effective Date of Updated Standard 2031
Updated DOE Standard Due 2028
1st Federal Standard Effective 2025
2022 CA Standard Effective
2022 CO Standard Effective
2022 WA Standard Effective
2020 VT Standard Effective
1st Federal Standard Adopted (DOE) 2020
2019 CO Standard Adopted
2019 WA Standard Adopted
2019 CA Standard Adopted
2018 VT Standard Adopted
Test Procedure - Last Revised - Active Mode 2017
EPACT Initial Federal Legislation Enacted 1992

Timeline reflects state standards from 2001 to present; federal standards from inception to present.