This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.
DOE Announces New Criteria for ENERGY STAR Refrigerators
DOE announced on August 3rd that it has increased the efficiency criteria for refrigerators with the ENERGY STAR label. To qualify for the label, full-size refrigerators must be at least 20% more efficient than current federal energy efficiency standards, an increase from the current 15% minimum. The new criteria will go into effect on April 28, 2008. Freezers and compact refrigerators are not included in the new criteria.
These new criteria are expected to save American families up to $23.5 million annually on their electric bills and over 230 million kilowatt-hours of energy—enough to light every household in Washington, DC, for more than five months. The savings on electricity should offset any additional cost for ENERGY STAR refrigerators within 3-5 years of the time of purchase.
ENERGY STAR is a joint program of DOE and the Environmental Protection Agency. The program is a voluntary, market-based partnership that seeks to reduce air pollution by increasing the energy efficiency of products, homes, and businesses. See the DOE press release and the current criteria for ENERGY STAR refrigerators.