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Why National Appliance Standards?

Thu, 2017-03-16 09:57
Why National Appliance Standards? Off Off marianne Thu, 2017-03-16 10:57 Off Date Fri, 01/13/2017 - 12:00

American Energy Manufacturing Technical Corrections Act

Fri, 2017-03-03 16:29
American Energy Manufacturing Technical Corrections Act Products Walk-In Coolers and Freezers Water Heaters Commercial Refrigeration Equipment Name of Legislation American Energy Manufacturing Technical corrections Act Date of Legislation Tue, 12/18/2012 - 12:00 marianne Fri, 2017-03-03 17:29

Pool pumps standards of 2017

Fri, 2017-03-03 15:55
Pool pumps standards of 2017 Product Pool Pumps Standard Issued by DOE Standard Adopted Date Wed, 01/18/2017 - 12:00 Standard Effective Date Tue, 05/18/2021 - 12:00 marianne Fri, 2017-03-03 16:55 Updated DOE Standard Expected Wed, 01/01/2025 - 12:00 Potential Effective Date Sat, 01/01/2028 - 12:00 Report Year 2017 Link URL DOE pool pumps page Savings through what year? 2050.00 Energy saved (quads) 3.8 CO2 savings (million metric tons) 202 Net present value savings ($billion) 3% discount rate 24 Net present value savings ($billion) 7% discount rate 11

Packaged Terminal AC and HP

Wed, 2017-03-01 12:48
Packaged Terminal AC and HP Product Packaged Terminal AC and HP Standard Issued by DOE Standard Adopted Date Mon, 09/21/2015 - 12:00 Standard Effective Date Sun, 01/01/2017 - 12:00 marianne Wed, 2017-03-01 13:48 Updated DOE Standard Expected Sun, 01/01/2023 - 12:00 Potential Effective Date Thu, 01/01/2026 - 12:00

Central Air Conditioner and Heat Pump standards of 2017

Wed, 2017-03-01 11:56
Central Air Conditioner and Heat Pump standards of 2017 Product Central Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps Standard Issued by DOE Standard Adopted Date Sun, 01/01/2017 - 12:00 Standard Effective Date Sun, 01/01/2023 - 12:00 marianne Wed, 2017-03-01 12:56 Updated DOE Standard Expected Wed, 01/01/2025 - 12:00 Potential Effective Date Tue, 01/01/2030 - 12:00

Water-Source Heat Pump Standards of 2015

Wed, 2017-03-01 11:31
Water-Source Heat Pump Standards of 2015 Product Water-Source Heat Pumps Standard Issued by DOE Standard Adopted Date Wed, 07/01/2015 - 12:00 Standard Effective Date Fri, 10/09/2015 - 12:00 marianne Wed, 2017-03-01 12:31 Updated DOE Standard Expected Sun, 01/01/2023 - 12:00 Potential Effective Date Thu, 01/01/2026 - 12:00

Dishwasher standards of 2016

Tue, 2017-02-28 16:02
Dishwasher standards of 2016 Product Dishwashers Standard Issued by DOE Standard Adopted Date Fri, 01/01/2016 - 12:00 marianne Tue, 2017-02-28 17:02 Updated DOE Standard Expected Fri, 01/01/2021 - 12:00 Potential Effective Date Mon, 01/01/2024 - 12:00

California 2016 (computers)

Thu, 2017-02-23 14:12
California 2016 (computers) Products Computers and Battery Backup Systems State California Issued by California Energy Commission Date Legislation Passed or Regulation Adopted Thu, 12/01/2016 - 12:00 marianne Thu, 2017-02-23 15:12 Legislative Status Pending? Off TBD Off Standard Effective Date Tue, 01/01/2019 - 12:00 Non-preempted state standard in effect ? This is the case where standards are preempted by federal but a state has a special exc On Never show this in the national or state tables Off

AUDIO RECORDING: Energy-Saving States of America teleconference

Thu, 2017-02-16 17:03
AUDIO RECORDING: Energy-Saving States of America teleconference Off Off marianne Thu, 2017-02-16 18:03 Off Date Thu, 02/16/2017 - 12:00

Energy-Savings States of America: How Every State Benefits from National Appliance Standards (Overview)

Wed, 2017-02-15 10:31
Energy-Savings States of America: How Every State Benefits from National Appliance Standards (Overview) Off On marianne Wed, 2017-02-15 11:31 On

DOE standards improve efficiency for battery backup power

Thu, 2016-12-29 11:55
Hot Topic off off

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued new energy efficiency standards for the relatively obscure, but important, class of products know as uninterruptible power supplies or UPS.  UPS provide critical protection from outages or fluctuations in electricity supply for sensitive electronic devices, particularly desktop computers (laptops usually have their own batteries built in). Battery backup power from a UPS instantly kicks in when power delivery from the electric utility is disrupted, allowing a computer to be shut down normally without losing data. The surprisingly large energy and economic savings and emissions reductions from the new UPS standard make it the sleeper success story among DOE’s 2016 efficiency standards.

DOE estimates that UPS meeting the new standards will save .94 quadrillion BTUs over 30 years of UPS sales, or about 87 billion kilowatt hours, resulting in net savings of $1-3 billion for U.S. consumers and businesses. This reduction in energy consumption will also prevent the emission of an estimated 49 million metric tons of CO2 over the same period. To put this in perspective, the energy saved is equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of 7 million US homes, and the CO2 reductions are equivalent to the emissions of 10.3 million cars in the US in one year. 

In its analysis for the new standard DOE identified six energy efficiency improvements which UPS manufacturers can use to help meet the new standards including better semiconductors, improved capacitors and more efficient cooling fans.  DOE did not evaluate “transformer-less” UPS design, which has recently gained market share and provides yet another way for manufacturers to meet the new standards.  Had DOE included transformer-less design in their analysis, we believe even stronger UPS efficiency standards would have been justified.

DOE’s analysis projects that 9.6 million UPS of all kinds will be sold in 2019. DOE also projects that the new standards will not increase the cost for the most common type of UPS (voltage and frequency dependent models) and will cut consumers’ energy costs by about $32 each over the lives of these products. For other UPS types, modest price increases for compliant models will be paid back to consumers through lower utility bills within a few years.

DOE originally proposed standards for UPS as part of a 2012 proposal covering a wide range of battery charger products. However, DOE later determined that the battery charger test procedure did not adequately measure UPS efficiency, and the final battery charger standards published in June omitted UPS.  DOE subsequently published a separate UPS test procedure and proposed standards.  The final standards will come into effect in 2019, completing a multi-year standards development process. The new federal standards will preempt existing state level standards currently in place in California and Oregon but will not be official until published in the Federal Register. Most likely, final publication will be decided by the Trump administration

 

 

Chris Granda

Pool owners will save $400 each year with consensus efficiency standards

Thu, 2016-12-29 09:45
off off Featured Story on Homepage

Yesterday the US Department of Energy (DOE) issued a direct final rule establishing the first-ever national energy efficiency standards for swimming pool pumps. Owners of in-ground pools will save about $400 each year with the new standards, which were recommended by a stakeholder working group.

There are more than 5 million in-ground pools and 3 million above-ground pools in the US. A typical pool pump can consume up to 6,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per year, which is equivalent to about half the annual electricity consumption of an average US household. The new standards will cut the energy use of in-ground pool pumps by about 70%.

A working group, which included representatives from pool pump and motor manufacturers, state government, utilities, and energy efficiency advocates, was formed in 2015 to negotiate test procedures and efficiency standards for pool pumps. The working group made recommendations on test procedures in late 2015 and reached agreement on efficiency standards in July of this year. Yesterday’s final rule implements the working group recommendations.

The pool pumps standard is the largest energy-saving rule issued by DOE this year and is slightly larger than the rule for residential central air conditioners and heat pumps issued in early December, which was also consensus based. DOE estimates that on a national level, the standards for pool pumps will reduce electricity consumption by about 400 billion kWh over 30 years of sales, which is equivalent to the annual electricity use of more than 30 million US households. Over the same period consumers will save $11-24 billion.

The standards for in-ground pool pumps can be met by switching from single-speed to variable-speed pumps. Variable-speed pumps provide huge energy savings by being able to change their speed as needed, speeding up to clean the pool or slowing down and saving energy when filtering the water.

The new standards for pool pumps follow standards for commercial and industrial pumps that were finalized earlier this year and were also based on a negotiated agreement. Pumps covered by the commercial and industrial pump standards are used for a wide variety of applications such as pressure boosting in high-rise apartment buildings and irrigation.

The new standards for pool pumps will take effect in 2021.

Note: This new standard will not be officially final until published in the Federal Register. Most likely, final publication will be decided by the Trump administration.

 

Joanna Mauer

Five new energy-saving standards from Barack Obama, but Donald Trump will get the final word

Thu, 2016-12-29 09:37
off Lead Story on Homepage Altogether, this batch of new standards will save consumers and businesses between $15 billion and $35 billion, according to DOE's estimates off

Yesterday, the Department of Energy (DOE) issued five new efficiency standards, culminating a decade of energy efficiency progress that began under President George W. Bush. The new standards, the last of many developed during the Obama administration, will save consumers money, help meet the nation’s energy needs and reduce environmentally harmful emissions, including greenhouse gases. However, each of these new standards must clear one more hurdle before they are truly complete, which means the Trump administration will get the final word on this last batch of Obama-era standards.

First, the new standards. They cover an eclectic mix of products. The first national standards for uninterruptible power supplies, portable air conditioners and swimming pool pumps, which are based on a consensus agreement, each deliver surprisingly large savings. For pool pumps, California has led the way with pool pump motor standards and Arizona, Connecticut, and Washington have followed. California and Oregon have previously set standards for uninterruptible power supplies as part of their battery charger standards. Building on this state leadership, the new DOE standards provide a consistent national standard for these products rather than state-by-state regulation. 

For walk-in coolers and commercial boilers, DOE’s latest actions would update existing national standards, originally signed into law by George W. Bush and his father, respectively. Manufacturers and installers of walk-in coolers negotiated the walk-in cooler levels with DOE and other stakeholders (including ASAP) after a lawsuit invalidated some earlier standards. The commercial boiler standards modestly increase the minimum levels for the heating equipment used in many mid- to large-sized buildings.

Altogether, this batch of new standards will save consumers and businesses $15 billion to $35 billion, according to DOE’s estimates.  My colleagues Joanna Mauer and Chris Granda have described each in more detail in separate posts (pool pumps, portable air conditioners, uninterruptible power supplies, walk-in coolers, and commercial boilers).

None of these standards has been especially controversial. But, in each case, the incoming Trump administration will get the final word. Under recently-instituted DOE processes, final rules must be available for public review for at least 45 days before DOE can send them for official publication in the Federal Register. Standards published in the Federal Register after President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration will be at the discretion of the new administration.

One exception: the new swimming pool pump standards are exempt from this 45-day review period, because DOE is adopting them under a special process permitted for consensus-based standards. But, this special process also permits the DOE Secretary to withdraw the new standard if significant objections are raised within the next few months. (The walk-in cooler standard is also a consensus-based standard, but DOE chose to adopt it through the process requiring the 45-day review period).

So, what does all this mean? Donald Trump and his DOE Secretary-designate Rick Perry, if confirmed by the Senate, will get the final word on each of these new standards.

Needless to say, the new secretary comes at energy policy from a different perspective than his immediate predecessors, and he’ll want to review all sorts of matters handed off to him. Undoubtedly, he will hear from some advisors that anything to do with the Obama administration should be deep-sixed.

But there is reason to hope based on his record in Texas and those of previous Republican administrations that he’ll take a more pragmatic approach. Rick Perry knows something about conservation standards. As governor of Texas, he signed a package of water conservation standards into law. The 2009 state law, passed as an element of the state’s response to persistent drought, shows that even deeply conservative lawmakers can embrace the need for reasonable standards.

Perry is not the first conservative governor of Texas to come around to support standards. As president, George W. Bush signed many standards into law as parts of the 2005 and 2007 national energy laws. Indeed, the enormous progress achieved on new standards during the Obama administration began under the Bush administration. After passage of the 2005 law and settling a lawsuit over many missed legal deadlines for updating standards, the Bush administration ramped up standards work.

The trajectory of the Bush administration was not unlike that of another famous conservative. After initially refusing to establish any standards, President Ronald Reagan signed the original 13 national standards into law in 1987. Each learned that a balanced and cost-effective approach to meeting the nation’s energy needs must address not only the amount of energy produced but also the amount consumed. In 2015, US electricity usage was about 13% lower than it would have been absent any standards.

And that balanced approach has led to real-world benefits for everyday American families. We estimate that the typical household spends about $500 less a year on utility bills thanks to existing national standards

Interestingly, a poll released last week showed that Trump voters also support national standards.  Seventy-six percent support “requiring manufacturers to make appliances more energy efficient.”

Let’s hope that the new administration starts with the same practical approach to efficiency standards that Reagan and Bush grew to embrace. With decisions due in the very first few months of new administration, we will know soon.

Andrew deLaski

Standards for “cooling choice of last resort” will slash energy waste

Thu, 2016-12-29 09:08
off off Featured Story on Homepage

Yesterday the US Department of Energy (DOE) issued the first-ever energy efficiency standards for portable air conditioners (ACs). The new standards will reduce energy use more than 20% relative to the least-efficient products available today and provide large savings for consumers.

DOE estimates that more than one million portable ACs are sold each year. Consumer Reports has referred to portable ACs as “the cooling choice of last resort” and found in their tests that portable ACs “barely got a room below sweltering.”

Portable ACs are similar to window AC units, except instead of being mounted in a window, portable ACs sit on the floor and exhaust hot air through a window using a duct. The problem with portable ACs sold today is that much or all of the air flow used to reject heat to the outside is drawn from the room being cooled. This process creates a negative pressure, which results in hot air being drawn in from outside. Making matters worse, portable ACs also add heat to the room due to heat losses through the duct and the unit’s case.

While window ACs have been subject to efficiency standards for more than 25 years, portable ACs have never had to meet any efficiency requirements. As a result, their efficiency performance has lagged badly.

DOE estimates that typical portable ACs sold today use about 900 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, which is roughly twice what a typical new window AC uses. While portable ACs will likely continue to provide subpar cooling performance, the new standards will cut energy waste. The standards can be met using more-efficient compressors and improved heat exchangers.

DOE estimates that with the new standards consumers will save $125 on average over the lifetime of a portable AC unit. On a national level, the new standards will save about 53 billion kWh over 30 years of sales, which is equivalent to the annual electricity use of about 4 million US households. Over the same period consumers will save $1-3 billion.

Even greater savings are possible. DOE evaluated higher efficiency levels that would reduce energy use by 32-46%, but did not adopt these higher levels due to concerns about potential manufacturer impacts and product availability.

Along with the new standards for portable ACs, consumers will also have much better information for making purchasing decisions. Previously, the advertised cooling capacities and efficiencies of portable ACs were not based on a standardized test method, and they often significantly overestimated actual performance. This discrepancy between rated values and actual performance made it difficult for consumers to compare units. Manufacturers are now required to use standardized rating methods for determining cooling capacity and efficiency, which will enable easy comparison of different portable AC units.

The new standards for portable ACs will take effect 5 years after publication in the Federal Register.

Note: This new standard will not be officially final until published in the Federal Register. Most likely, final publication will be decided by the Trump administration.

 

Joanna Mauer

Building owners will save with new efficiency standards

Thu, 2016-12-29 07:32
off Lead Story on Homepage DOE estimates that customers on average will save between $200 (for small gas-fired hot water boilers) and $36,000 (for large oil-fired steam boilers) off

Yesterday the US Department of Energy (DOE) issued new energy efficiency standards for commercial boilers, which are commonly used to heat schools, offices, apartments, and hospitals, among other building types. The new standards will reduce commercial boiler energy consumption by about 2-6% relative to the current standards.

Yesterday’s final rule completes a process required by Congress to update the minimum efficiency standards for commercial boilers. DOE initiated the rulemaking more than 3 years ago and held public meetings at preliminary stages of the process in 2013 and 2014. DOE was required by law to issue a proposed rule in 2015, but the proposed rule was delayed until it was eventually published earlier this year.

About one-quarter of all commercial floor space is heated by boilers. Commercial boilers are generally used to heat buildings that have a heating and cooling system referred to as a central system, where boilers provide hot water or steam for heating and a chiller provides cold water for cooling. (In contrast, other buildings may be heated and cooled using packaged rooftop units, for example.)

Commercial boilers can use either gas or oil as the fuel source, and many boilers provide hot water for use in a building in addition to space heating. The current standards for commercial boilers require a minimum efficiency of 77% to 84% depending on the specific type, size, and fuel. The new standards will raise the minimum efficiency levels to 81-88%.

DOE estimates that customers on average will save between $200 (for small gas-fired hot water boilers) and $36,000 (for large oil-fired steam boilers) over the life of the equipment with the new standards. On a national level, commercial boilers meeting the new standards sold over 30 years will save about 0.3 quadrillion Btus (quads) of energy--enough to heat all the natural-gas-heated homes in New England for one and a half years--and net savings of $0.5-2.0 billion for customers.

While yesterday’s rule will require modest efficiency improvements, much greater energy savings are possible. Gas-fired hot water boilers using condensing technology can reach efficiency levels as high as 99%.

The new standards for commercial boilers will take effect 3 years after publication in the Federal Register.

Note: This new standard will not be officially final until published in the Federal Register. Most likely, final publication will be decided by the Trump administration.

 

 

 

Joanna Mauer

DOE adopts negotiated efficiency standards for walk-in coolers

Thu, 2016-12-29 07:31
off off Featured Story on Homepage

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Yesterday the US Department of Energy (DOE) issued new energy efficiency standards for certain types of walk-in cooler and freezer equipment based on an agreement negotiated by a stakeholder working group. The new standards for walk-ins are the latest example of the success of the negotiated rulemaking process, which has resulted in consensus efficiency standards for equipment such as commercial rooftop air conditioners, beverage coolers, and commercial and industrial pumps.

DOE issued a final rule for new standards for walk-in coolers and freezers back in 2014. However, the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) and others filed a lawsuit which resulted in a settlement agreement. Among other things, the settlement agreement remanded the standards for certain types of walk-in refrigeration systems to DOE for rulemaking using a negotiated rulemaking process. Of the 19 classes of walk-in equipment covered by the 2014 final rule, the standards for 6 were remanded.

In 2015, a working group comprised of manufacturers, contractors, utilities, energy efficiency advocates, and DOE successfully negotiated new standards for the remanded equipment types. DOE estimates that yesterday’s final rule, which reflects the standards negotiated by the working group, will save about 90 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity over 30 years of sales, which is equivalent to the annual electricity use of about 7 million US households. Combined with the standards for the other equipment types established in the 2014 final rule, total electricity savings for walk-ins will be about 290 billion kWh, or enough to power 24 million US households for a year.

Purchasers of walk-in cooler and freezer equipment will see big savings with the new efficiency standards. DOE estimates that yesterday’s final rule will save businesses up to $3 billion. Combined with the standards established in the 2014 final rule, businesses will save up to $9 billion.

Walk-in coolers and freezers are typically found at supermarkets, restaurants, and convenience stores. They consist of an envelope (the “box”), which includes panels and doors, and a refrigeration system. Walk-ins are often constructed on site, and they are used to temporarily store refrigerated or frozen food or other perishable items. For example, supermarkets store food in walk-ins before transferring it to refrigerated display cases on the store floor.

Walk-in refrigeration systems are generally comprised of a unit cooler located inside the walk-in that absorbs heat from the refrigerated space, and a condensing unit located outside the walk-in that rejects the heat. Yesterday’s final rule includes standards for unit coolers used in both coolers and freezers, and for condensing units used with walk-in freezers.

The new standards for walk-in cooler and freezer refrigeration systems will take effect 3 years after publication in the Federal Register.

Note: This new standard will not be officially final until published in the Federal Register. Most likely, final publication will be decided by the Trump administration.

 

Joanna Mauer

California computer standards boot up big savings

Thu, 2016-12-15 22:08
off Lead Story on Homepage The California Energy Commission approved first-in-the-nation energy efficiency standards for computers and computer displays or monitors off

This week, the California Energy Commission (CEC) approved first-in-the-nation energy efficiency standards for computers and computer displays, or monitors (CEC factsheet). These new standards, which reflect several years of collaborative work by the computer industry, California investor-owned utilities, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Consumer Federation of America, other consumer organizations, and regional energy efficiency organizations should help save energy worth billions of dollars each year that would otherwise be wasted by the desktops, laptops and other computer equipment that consumers and businesses use every day.

California’s new computer standards are the latest in a long and very successful history of state level actions, dating back to the original refrigerator efficiency standards in the 1970s. California’s standards often become models for other states as well as the nation. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has begun a process of developing national computer efficiency standards, but has not yet published a proposal.  

The computer industry has a good record of improving their products’ energy efficiency and participated constructively in the development of the new California standards. The standards will promote further innovation and the widespread adoption of existing energy-saving computer and monitor technologies. Manufacturers have expressed confidence that they will be able to achieve the new energy efficiency requirements, according to the New York Times.

Of course, computer manufacturers serve national and international markets. Rather than offer computers with different efficiency levels in California, manufacturers may upgrade national product lines to meet the California standards, especially if other states decide to follow suit. Based on the CEC’s estimates for California, we extrapolate that if manufacturers sold only compliant computers and monitors nationally, savings would reach up to 20,000 gigawatt hours of electricity annually by 2027, or enough to supply 1.6 million U.S. homes. NRDC further describes the standards and their benefits for California and the nation in their blog post

The California computer and monitor standards do not cover tablets, game consoles, televisions, larger servers, or computers used to control industrial machines. Different energy efficiency requirements will come into effect for various product types from 2018 to 2021 with a first tier of energy efficiency requirements for the most common computers becoming effective on January 1, 2019. A second, stronger efficiency level for this equipment kicks in on July 1, 2021.

California’s new standards acknowledge the challenge of setting energy efficiency requirements for rapidly evolving technologies like computers and monitors. Since consumer preferences for additional features and computing power may change over time, the California computer standards are designed to be flexible with allowances and exemptions to support innovation. However, these allowances and exemptions could potentially reduce the expected energy savings under some scenarios. To address this possibility the CEC issued an adoption order directing Commission staff to conduct rigorous market monitoring of “specific features and types of computers and monitors” using the state’s appliance efficiency database system. If the market develops in ways that significantly reduce the expected energy savings, CEC can revise the standards in the future.

 

 

Chris Granda

DOE completes new air compressor standards

Mon, 2016-12-05 18:09
off off Featured Story on Homepage

Today the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released new energy efficiency standards for rotary air compressors. These large air compressors power a range of commercial and industrial equipment such as manufacturing robots, pneumatic tools, and paint sprayers and use about 6 percent of all motor-driven electricity consumption in the industrial sector.[1] Today’s new standards set minimum efficiency requirements for lubricated rotary compressors, which account for most compressor energy use. DOE did not set standards for reciprocating compressors or unlubricated rotary compressors.

DOE estimates that compressors meeting the new standards will save 0.16 quadrillion BTUs by compressors sold over 30 years[2], or about 15.6 billion kilowatt hours, resulting in net savings of $200 to $400 million for compressors purchased over this period. This reduction in energy consumption will also prevent the emission of an estimated 8.2 million metric tons of CO2 over the same period. To put this in perspective, this energy is equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of 1.3 million US homes, and the CO2 emissions are equivalent to what 1.7 million cars in the US put out in one year. 

Manufacturers, who generally supported the efficiency levels adopted when originally proposed by DOE earlier this year, can meet the new compressor standards by incorporating readily accessible, proven technologies into their products including improvements to the design, engineering and surface finish of the basic compressor components. Other improvements that can be used to meet the new standards include multiple compressor stages with intercooling and improvements to the efficiencies of filters, dryers, and other auxiliary components.

These energy efficiency standards are the culmination of nearly three years of analysis and development at DOE, beginning in February of 2014. DOE followed the normal, in-depth analysis path considering technology options, manufacturer impacts, and consumer and societal effects to develop the proposed rule released in May of this year. The new standards will first come into effect in 2022, giving compressor manufacturers and the market ample time to adjust.

Although these new standards are an important step for compressor efficiency, DOE could have gone further. The new standards only cover lubricated rotary compressors, which are the type of air compressors that tend to have the largest rated output. High output air compressors account for less than 1 percent of annual compressor shipments, but they represent an estimated 80 percent of total annual electricity consumption by air compressors.[3] The majority of air compressors sold are reciprocating compressors, which tend to be smaller and not to run as many hours per year. However, there are also high output reciprocating models that are not covered by the new standards. The European Union is currently working on compressor standards that are expected to also include reciprocating technology and DOE should also address it in the future.

[1] Improving Compressed Air Sourcebook, DOE and Compressed Air Challenge. Appendix D

[2] (2022-2051)

[3] Ibid

Chris Granda

DOE completes new consensus-based air conditioner standards

Mon, 2016-12-05 16:39
off Lead Story on Homepage Standards will translate to hundreds of dollars in electricity bill savings for consumers over the life of their equipment off

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) published new minimum energy efficiency standards for residential central air conditioners and heat pumps today.  The new standards, which are based on a negotiated agreement, will reduce air conditioner and heat pump energy use by about 7%, translating into hundreds of dollars in electricity bill savings for consumers over the life of their equipment.

A federal advisory committee working group concluded the negotiations and signed the term sheet on which the new standards are based last January.  The working group included representatives of manufacturers, contractors, distributors, state government, utilities, and energy efficiency advocates.

The standards’ compliance date, 2023, was a key element of the negotiations because manufacturers wanted to align changes to the minimum standards with the expected phase-down of current refrigerants.  Today’s most common refrigerant used in central air conditioners and heat pumps – R410A – will be phased out under the terms of the recently concluded Kigali agreement, a global agreement supported by both manufacturers and environmentalists designed to eliminate the most environmentally-harmful refrigerants. Likely replacements for R410a include R32 and R452B.

A new test method for measuring the energy efficiency of central air conditioners will take effect at the same time as the new standards. The new test method will yield efficiency ratings that are more representative of field performance.

On a national basis, the standards will save 3.2 quads of energy, or about 340 billion kWh cumulatively from products sold over thirty years.  DOE estimates consumers will save between $2.5 billion and $12.2 billion in total.

The new standards will supersede those currently in effect, which also were negotiated among stakeholders. The existing standards vary by region for air conditioners, and the new standards maintain the regional approach.  Heat pumps will continue to have a single, national standard.

Based on DOE’s analysis, manufacturers can meet the new standards with improved heat exchangers, better outdoor fan motors, and other design improvements. Switching to new refrigerants will also boost efficiency, helping manufacturers to comply with the new standards. Products with efficiency performance significantly above the new standard are already on the market today, providing additional savings opportunities for consumers and programs such as those run by utilities designed to save even more. 

Many of the largest energy-saving DOE standards completed in the last year have been based on similar consensus agreements, including the recent standards for roof-top air conditioners (which will save more energy than any other standard in DOE history) and pending standards for swimming pool pumps which are expected to be published soon.

Note: DOE also released new standards for industrial air compressors today

 

Andrew deLaski