Household Savings Learn More
A Household Example
Appliance standards have saved consumers significant amounts of money on their utility bills. To illustrate, we looked at a typical scenario of a household replacing its major appliances every 15 years, and estimated the impacts of standards in terms of energy and water savings and utility bill savings.
For the purposes of this illustration, we envisioned a family buying a house that was built in 1980, including the appliances that had been in the house since it was built: a refrigerator, oven, clothes washer, dishwasher, incandescent light bulbs, gas furnace, electric water heater, and central air conditioning. In 1995 when the family moves in, they decide to replace all of those appliances—whether by choice or because some of the appliances reached the end of their life. The appliances were replaced again in 2010, and we’ll expect them to get replaced one more time around 2025, by which point new standards for each product will have gone into effect. In each of those intervals, standards have been increased for most of these appliances, so they will be saving energy (and water in the case of clothes washers and dishwashers). This scenario approximates the real-life scenarios that most U.S. households experience, though more neatly categorized into precise replacement intervals. In order to estimate the impacts, we modeled the following products.
Water and energy savings per household
The water and energy savings over this 45-year period are substantial. This typical household would save over 180 MWh of electricity and over 200,000 gallons of water. Absent standards, this typical household’s electricity use over this period would have been about 40% higher. The water savings would fill one-third of an Olympic-size swimming pool.
Over the course of three rounds of appliance replacements, the typical family saves more than $30,000, or more than enough to cover nearly two years of mortgage payments for an average U.S. household. These savings are conservative because this example does not include many other energy- and water-using products that also have been or will be affected by standards such as plumbing products, and power supplies and battery chargers for consumer electronics. Including the plumbing standards would increase water savings several-fold.
For more details, see pages 20-22 of The Efficiency Boom report.