U.S. DOE Commits to Update Commercial Appliance Standards

THE US Department Of Energy has made a commitment to a timetable to update overdue National Energy-Saving Standards for widely used commercial appliances.

New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, leading a coalition of 10 states and the City of New York, today announced an agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy that commits the Department to a timetable for updating overdue energy efficiency standards for four common commercial appliances.

The agreement was reached after the DOE missed legal deadlines set by the federal Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) for revising efficiency standards for walk-in coolers and freezers, metal halide lamps, electric motors and commercial refrigeration equipment.

Strengthening the standards will result in substantial cuts in air, water and climate change pollution and save businesses and consumers across the country.

“Energy efficiency is recognized as one of the best ways to cut pollution, fight climate change and save consumers money,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “Updating the energy-efficiency standards for these widely used commercial appliances is not only a legal requirement, it will result in less pollution and save businesses and consumers more than $150 million each month. With this agreement, the DOE has committed to adopting common-sense standards that fight pollution and keep money in people’s pockets.”

Walk-in coolers and refrigerators are spaces large enough for people to enter and are used for temporary storage of refrigerated or frozen food. Commercial refrigeration equipment includes a diverse mix of refrigerators and freezers, including display cases commonly used in supermarkets and convenience stores.

Metal halide lamps are fixtures commonly used in large spaces such as industrial buildings, sports stadiums, gymnasiums and big-box retail stores and as street lights.

Electric motors include an array of motors of varying sizes that run pumps, fans, blowers, compressors and other commercial equipment.

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) estimates that as a result of updating energy efficiency standards for the four appliances, 2.2 million metric tons of climate change pollution will be eliminated and consumers will save $156 million each month.

The ACEEE further estimates that, by 2035, strengthened energy efficiency standards for the four appliances will save businesses and consumers $3.8 billion per year. The cumulative energy savings by 2035 would be enough to supply all the energy needs in the United States for three weeks. Additionally, stronger standards would cut the pollution that contributes to smog, soot and acid rain, and reduce climate change pollution by more than 26 million metric tons annually - the equivalent of retiring at least six coal-burning power plants.

Picture of Buffalo by Stephen Zimmermann.THWoodman at en.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

Monday 12th August 2013


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