Quick DOE Action on Appliance Standards Welcome, But Prompt Action Needed on Testing Procedures, Too

At this time of soaring energy prices, consumers and businesses alike urgently need the energy savings promised by minimum appliance efficiency standards.

Washington, D.C., October 20, 2005 - The Alliance to Save Energy today commended the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for promptly issuing new appliance standards authorized by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 but noted the absence of many mandated testing procedures that are needed by industry to ensure compliance and enforcement.


"At this time of soaring energy prices, consumers and businesses alike urgently need the energy savings promised by minimum appliance efficiency standards," said Alliance President Kateri Callahan. "We applaud DOE's quick turnaround on the 15 new standards, but unfortunately that does not complete the job. Manufacturers need clarity on how to comply with the new standards, and DOE must be able to enforce them. We therefore urge DOE to promptly specify testing procedures that were absent from the Federal Register rulemaking notice for many of the 15 product categories.

"Efficiency standards move the marketplace toward products that yield greater energy savings and 'lock in' savings for the decades-long life of major appliances and equipment," Callahan added. "So we are encouraged that DOE has responded to the new energy law in a timely manner, and we hope this indicates that the department is accelerating progress on overdue appliance standards that have been delayed for many years."

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy estimates that by 2020, the new standards will save consumers $8 billion on energy bills, reduce U.S. electricity use by 2 percent, and lower peak power demand by 30,000 megawatts - thus avoiding the need for about 100 new mid-sized power plants.

Through 2000, existing appliance efficiency standards have reduced U.S. electricity use by 2.5 percent (88 billion kWh/year) and peak power demand by approximately 21,000 MW.

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The Alliance to Save Energy is a coalition of prominent business, government, environmental, and consumer leaders who promote the efficient and clean use of energy worldwide to benefit consumers, the environment, economy, and national security.

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