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The Efficiency Boom: Cashing In on the Savings from Appliance Standards


March 8, 2012

Research Report A123

Authors:

Amanda Lowenberger, Joanna Mauer, Andrew deLaski, Marianne DiMascio, Jennifer Amann, Steven Nadel

Description:

Appliance, equipment, and lighting standards have been a cornerstone of U.S. energy policy since Congress enacted the first standards in the 1980s. They have significantly reduced U.S. energy consumption, providing large economic benefits for consumers and businesses. Taking into account products sold from the inception of each national standard through 2035, existing standards will net consumers and businesses more than $1.1 trillion in savings cumulatively. Over the same period, cumulative energy savings will reach more than 200 quads, an amount equal to about two years of total U.S. energy consumption.

This report evaluates potential new or updated standards for 34 product categories that could be adopted within the next four years. Due to federal preemption, many of these standards may only be adopted at the national level, but others may be adopted at the state level first. This substantial set of new and updated standards has the potential to generate enormous additional energy and economic savings.

For individual consumers, the benefits of standards have been very large and will grow as new and revised standards take effect. Based on a combination of existing and new standards, a typical household replacing its major appliances every 15 years will save over 180 MWh of electricity and over 200,000 gallons of water between 1995 and 2040 simply by purchasing products that comply with minimum standards. Total bill savings over this 45-year period exceed $30,000, or about enough to cover nearly two years of mortgage payments for an average U.S. household.