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Doing The Minimum Gets a New Meaning

Posted by Macie Melendez on March 08, 2012
Doing The Minimum Gets a New Meaning
Amanda Lowenberger, Senior Analyst at ACEEE.

National efficiency standards for appliances, lighting, and other equipment will save consumers and businesses more than $1.1 trillion by 2035, says The Efficiency Boom: Cashing In on Savings from Appliance Standards, a study released today by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

The 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 set of new and updated standards has the potential to generate enormous additional energy and economic savings.

For individual consumers specifically, the benefits of standards have already been very large (existing standards reduced U.S. electricity use by 7 percent in 2010) and they’ll continue to 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.

“Our research found that a combination of updates for existing standards and first-time standards for products like computers, TV set-top boxes, and street lights would add to the track record of big energy, economic, and environmental benefits achieved by standards,” said Amanda Lowenberger, lead report author and senior research analyst at ACEEE.

Read more promising statistics by downloading the full report here.

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