Blog

The good news, and the not-so-good news, on the new DOE water heater test procedure
Posted by Anthony Fryer on June 30, 2014

On Friday, the Department of Energy (DOE) issued a new test procedure for residential and some commercial water heaters. The new procedure addresses a number of longstanding testing issues in order to better replicate real-world usage and to more accurately measure energy consumption across various technologies. Unfortunately, DOE missed an opportunity to ensure that one of the most energy-efficient technologies, the electric heat pump water heater (HPWH),...

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Taming an energy hog with efficiency standards
Posted by Joanna Mauer on June 25, 2014

The Department of Energy (DOE) issued new efficiency standards today that will dramatically reduce the energy use of a little-known home energy hog. Furnace fans, which circulate heated and cooled air throughout a home, consume more than twice the electricity in a year as a typical new refrigerator. The new standards will cut the cost to power furnace fans by about 40% and also deliver improved comfort.

Most furnace fans come as part of a furnace. But in homes with central air...

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Just in time for the dog days of summer - better AC standards
Posted by Marianne DiMascio on May 15, 2014

If you’re planning to buy a room air conditioner this summer, and need relief from both heat and high electricity bills, you are in luck. Energy efficiency standards due to take effect at the beginning of the summer will ensure that window air-conditioning units will give you more bang for your buck. As you stay cool, you will use less energy and keep more change in your pocket.

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Obama administration belts home runs with new energy saving standards
Posted by Andrew deLaski on May 09, 2014

The Obama administration hit two home runs with new energy saving standards announced by President Obama along with other clean energy actions in California today. The two new standards, covering electric motors and walk-in coolers and freezers will reduce energy waste, save money and cut pollution. Billions of dollars in net savings will...

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The long winding road toward efficient furnaces
Posted by Andrew deLaski on April 24, 2014

The struggle toward improved gas furnace efficiency standards may have an end in sight. Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit approved a settlement between the Department of Energy (DOE) and an industry trade group. In the settlement, DOE agreed to pull back efficiency standards completed in 2011 and develop new standards in their place within two years. This new rulemaking represents another opportunity to set strong furnace standards which will save energy and cut consumers’ heating bills.

Since DOE based the 2011 standards on a...

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A new DOE proposal would cement a big leap in lighting efficiency but Congress is preventing even bigger savings
Posted by Anthony Fryer on April 14, 2014

New energy-saving standards for certain types of incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs proposed by the Department of Energy (DOE) last Friday mark another important step in improving lighting efficiency in the United States. DOE’s proposal further advances strong standards completed in 2009. Together, the 2009 standards and the proposed increases announced last week dramatically improve reflector lamp and fluorescent tube lamp efficiency by 70% and 23% respectively. Unfortunately, a...

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New Icemaker Efficiency Standards Are a Step in the Right Direction, but Stronger Standards Make Sense
Posted by Joanna Mauer on March 10, 2014

Late on Friday, the Department of Energy (DOE) proposed new efficiency standards for commercial icemakers, which make the ice provided by drink dispensers in fast food restaurants among many other uses. While the proposed standards would be a significant step toward improving icemaker efficiency, higher cost-effective efficiency levels could be achieved using commercially available technologies.

At a fast food restaurant, icemakers typically sit on top of the fountain drink dispensers....

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