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U.S. DOE Finalizes 4 Consensus-Based Efficiency Standards to Save Americans Billions on Utility Bills

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DOE Finalizing Energy Efficiency Standards for Commercial Unitary Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps, Circulator Pumps, Dishwashers, and Miscellaneous Refrigeration Appliances—Delivering Savings to Consumers as Directed by Congress and with Strong Industry and Stakeholder Support

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced four, consensus-based energy-efficiency actions that will save American households and businesses nearly $1.9 billion per year on utility bills, while significantly cutting energy waste and harmful carbon pollution.  All four final standards reflect joint recommendations from a wide range of stakeholders, reinforcing the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to work with industry partners and consumer advocates to continue a long track record of efficiency improvements that reduce energy costs. The final standards for commercial unitary air conditioners and heat pumps, and for circulator pumps, reflect recommendations from a federal advisory committee that includes manufacturer, advocacy, State, and utility representatives. The final standards for dishwashers and miscellaneous refrigeration products (e.g. wine coolers) reflect a joint recommendation from a wide range of stakeholders, including the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, Consumer Federation of America, and energy efficiency advocates. Over 30 years, these updated standards are expected to save Americans approximately $33 billion on their energy and water bills, while also reducing nearly 134 million metric tons of dangerous carbon dioxide emissions—equivalent to the combined annual emissions of nearly 17 million homes.

“Congress requires DOE to issue energy efficiency standards for a range of appliances and we have successfully met this mandate through robust collaboration between industry, manufacturers, and consumer groups,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “As a result of DOE’s commitment to quickly update and strengthen appliance standards American households will see increased savings on their utility bills—keeping more money in the pockets of working families while reducing our nation’s carbon footprint.”

DOE continues to carry out Congressional direction for energy savings that maintain reliability and performance across household appliances and commercial and industrial equipment. Today’s actions are part of a suite of energy efficiency standards advanced by the Biden-Harris Administration this term that DOE projects will together provide nearly $1 trillion in consumer savings over 30 years and save the average family at least $100 a year through lower utility bills. DOE also estimates that the full set of standards, once finalized, will cumulatively reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2.5 billion metric tons or more—an amount roughly equivalent to the emissions of 18 million gas-powered cars, 22 coal-fired power plants, or 10.5 million homes over 30 years.

These actions reinforce the trajectory of consumer savings that form a key pillar of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. They also highlight the opportunities to lower costs for American families and businesses in ways that also cut climate pollution.

Commercial Unitary Air Conditioners & Heat Pumps 

The Congressionally-mandated efficiency standards being adopted today for commercial unitary air conditioners and heat pumps (commonly known as commercial rooftop units) align with recommendations that a DOE-sponsored stakeholder working group submitted to the Secretary in 2023. The working group represented a diverse set of stakeholders including manufacturers, environmental and efficiency advocacy organizations, and electric utility companies. Compliance will be required from January 1, 2029. The energy savings over 30 years of shipments is 5.5 quadrillion British thermal units, which represents a savings of 10% relative to the energy use of products currently on the market. DOE estimates that the standards would save consumers nearly $24 billion on their utility bills over 30 years of shipments and result in cumulative emission reductions of nearly 109 million metric tons of carbon dioxide—an amount roughly equivalent to the combined annual emissions of nearly 14.2 million homes.

Circulator Pumps 

The efficiency standards being adopted today for circulator pumps align with recommendations that a DOE-sponsored stakeholder working group—including manufacturers, the manufacturer trade association, a contractor association, environmental and energy-efficiency advocacy organizations, and electric utility companies—initially made in 2016, and continued to support throughout the rulemaking process. Compliance will be required beginning in 2028. The energy savings over 30 years of shipments is 0.55 quadrillion British thermal units, which represents a savings of 33% relative to the energy use of products currently on the market. DOE estimates that the standards would save consumers nearly $4.3 billion on their utility bills over 30 years of shipments and result in cumulative emission reductions of 10 million metric tons of carbon dioxide—an amount roughly equivalent to the combined annual emissions of 1.3 million homes.

Dishwashers and Miscellaneous Refrigeration Products

In September 2023, a broad coalition of appliance manufacturers and advocates for consumer protection, water and energy efficiency, and climate action announced their support for updating several home appliance standards, including dishwashers and miscellaneous refrigeration products, following on DOE proposals. The efficiency standards being adopted today for dishwashers and miscellaneous refrigeration products align with the recommendations from the diverse set of stakeholders, including manufacturers, the manufacturing trade association, energy, environmental, and consumer advocacy groups, states, and utilities. With these two direct final rules, DOE has now taken final action on all the appliance categories included in the joint recommendation – which also includes refrigerators and freezers, cooking products, clothes washers, and clothes dryers.

For dishwashers, compliance will be required starting in 2027. The energy savings over 30 years of shipments is 0.31 quadrillion British thermal units, which represents a savings of 3% relative to the energy use of products currently on the market. DOE estimates that the standards would save consumers nearly $3.2 billion on their utility bills over 30 years of shipments and result in cumulative emission reductions of 9.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide—an amount roughly equivalent to the combined annual emissions of 1.2 million homes.

For miscellaneous refrigeration products, compliance will be required from January 31, 2029. The energy savings over 30 years of shipments is 0.32 quadrillion British thermal units, which represents a savings of 26% relative to the energy use of products currently on the market. DOE estimates that the standards would save consumers approximately $2.0 billion on their utility bills over 30 years of shipments and result in cumulative emission reductions of nearly 6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide—an amount roughly equivalent to the combined annual emissions of over 760,000 homes.

Lowering Energy Costs for American Families and Businesses  

For more information on cost-savings resources, consumers can utilize DOE’s Energy Savings Hub—an easy-to-use online resource consumers can use to access the cost-saving benefits of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. The website outlines clean energy tax credits and forthcoming rebates, helping people take control of their energy costs and have cleaner and more efficient options as a consumer—whether they’re looking to purchase an electric vehicle, update an appliance, or make their home safer and more comfortable. To learn how you can drastically cut your energy bills and keep money in your pocket, visit www.energy.gov/save.

DOE’s Building Technologies Office implements minimum energy conservation standards for more than 60 categories of appliances and equipment. To learn more, visit the Appliance and Equipment Standards Program homepage.


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