New Efficiency Standards to Cool Refrigerator Power Demand

New energy efficiency standards issued by the Department of Energy (DOE) Friday will save the equivalent of the energy consumption of every home in the US over two months. More than $200 in savings is expected for the typical consumer over the life of the new  refrigerators, which will save consumers nationwide over $21 billion on their power bills through 2043. The standards will take effect in 2014.
The energy consumption of a refrigerator under the new rules will be cut by 25%, using one-third the electricity used by a refrigerator in the 1970s. Over 240 million metric tons of carbon emissions will be avoided over the next thirty years. "These standards represent a consensus among manufacturers, consumer groups and environmentalists" said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. "The agreement builds on more than three decades of common-sense state and federal refrigerator efficiency standards that have collectively saved American families hundreds of billions of dollars....Even as the size of American refrigerators has increased and more features have been added, the historical purchase prices have come down and we are all saving money on our electricity bills every month."
The rules are the result of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 which required the DOE to review and amend energy conservation standards for residential refrigerators and freezers. Earlier standards established on 1976 eliminated the least efficient half of the refrigerator market. Refrigerator efficiency continued to improve with Energy Star standards, but further improvements were needed, challenging the industry to build on the energy efficiency standards achieved between 1976 and today. The steady improvement of refrigerator technology shows how better products can deliver consumer benefit while providing profit for the manufacturers - that energy efficiency works.
"This consensus agreement maximized cost-effective energy savings for consumers while keeping impacts on manufacturers to manageable levels" according to the Executive Director of the American Council for Energy Efficiency Steve Nadel.  Joseph McGuire, president of the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers said the new rule "Is based on the consensus agreement reached by stakeholders which balances energy savings, consumer choice and manufacturer impact. We applaud DOE for its work."
Since 2009 the DOE has established new energy efficiency standards for over thirty commercial and household products, expected to result in a savings to consumers of up to $300 billion through 2030. Energy efficiency is happening now. It is the way to an affordable, clean, comfortable future. Agreements such as the refrigerator ruling will help guide our economy toward an energy efficient future, free of dependence on fossil fuels, with lower electricity costs and less power-generation emissions.


  1. I just stumbled across your blog and I love it.

  2. Thanks very much for your kind words

  3. We need more improvements in our refrigeration standards to save more energy!


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I am a Seattle-based writer. Energy efficiency and the achievement of human potential are my goals. I have worked as a legislative aide and a database manager, and recently started building a money- and energy-saving household goods online store featuring sensible and affordable home environment solutions including ENERGY STAR qualified products. Contact: Twitter: @Greenbespoke @SaveWattsatHome