This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

July 30, 2004

DOE Begins Process to Set New Efficiency Standards for Energy Equipment


Photo of a high-efficiency residential boiler.

If adopted, efficiency standards would result in more energy-efficient heating equipment in U.S. homes.
Credit: Warren Gretz, NREL

DOE announced on July 30th that it is issuing new advance notices of proposed rulemaking for energy efficiency standards for residential furnaces and boilers, commercial air conditioners and heat pumps, and the transformers that utilities use in their electrical distribution systems. Compared to the total U.S. energy use of about 97 quadrillion Btus (quads) per year, residential furnaces and boilers currently use 4.6 quads, commercial air conditioners and heat pumps use 0.7 quads, and distribution transformers use 1.6 quads. DOE published an "Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking" in the July 29th Federal Register for each of the three product categories, and will be holding public meetings on the proposed changes in late September. See the DOE press release, and the proposed standards for residential furnaces and boilers, commercial air conditioners and heat pumps, and distribution transformers.

Energy efficiency standards are part of DOE's Appliance and Commercial Equipment Standards Program. To date, energy efficiency standards have saved 7.9 quads of energy and have saved the nation $31.3 billion in reduced energy bills. Existing energy efficiency standards are projected to save another 73.7 quads and $147.4 billion between now and 2030. See the Appliance and Commercial Equipment Standards Web site.

Features