Issue 16
January 15, 2015
2014 Goes Out with a Bang (an Efficient Bang!)
Whether it's an office, a restaurant or your local laundromat, the Department of Energy (DOE) ended the year with good news for utility bill payers in many different settings. In the month of December alone, DOE completed new efficiency standards for three products, making a dent in monthly energy bills in the following places:
  • Hotels and restaurants: Automatic ice makers (blog post)
  • Offices, industry, and your garage: Fluorescent tube lighting (blog post) and
  • Laundromats and apartments: Commercial clothes washers (blog post). 

In addition to the three standards issued in December, DOE issued new or updated standards for seven additional products in 2014 (commercial refrigeration, electric motors, external power supplies, furnace fans, metal halide lamps, through-the-wall air conditioners and walk-in coolers), bringing the total for the year to ten. In a New Year's Eve press release, DOE noted that: "The ten standards finalized this year will help reduce carbon dioxide emissions by over 435 million metric tons and save American families and businesses $78 billion in electricity bills through 2030." Those savings look good anywhere. 
Working Group Pumps Out Recommendations for Pumps

Industrial pumpA working group convened by DOE and made up of manufacturers, efficiency advocates, pump users, and utilities met multiple times over six months to negotiate the first-ever national efficiency standards for commercial and industrial pumps. The working group reached a consensus in June 2014 and submitted their recommendations to DOE. 

The new standards would apply to clean water pumps between 1 and 200 horsepower and would eliminate the least-efficient 25% of pumps from the market. The metric to measure pump efficiency would capture the energy-saving benefits of variable-speed drives and would help facilitate efficiency programs to encourage the use of variable-speed pumps in appropriate applications. The working group also recommended that follow-on rulemakings be conducted for circulator pumps (used to circulate hot water provided by boilers, for example) and for swimming pool pumps. DOE is scheduled to publish a proposed rule reflecting the working group's recommendations in February. 


Keeping Tabs on Compliance Dates

Manilla tabs With all the activity at DOE, it's easy to lose track of dates that matter. Starting today, we'll add a new column to keep tabs on compliance dates - the date after which a covered product imported or manufactured for sale in the United States must meet new standards. Note that distributors and retailers can continue to sell their existing inventory past that date until the stock is depleted. The compliance date is typically (but not always) three to five years after publication of the final rule. 

In this issue we are keeping tabs on new compliance dates for four products:
  • January 2015: clothes dryers and central air conditioners
  • November 2014: fluorescent lamp ballasts
  • September 2014: refrigerators 
New standards for clothes dryers will reduce dryer energy use by about 5%. Recent changes to the test procedure will allow the next round of standards to capture greater savings from improved automatic termination controls, the technology that automatically shuts the dryer off when your clothes are dry. 

regional map
Winning the 'most interesting' award are new regional standards for residential central air conditioners and heat pumps. The standards, based on a negotiated agreement between manufacturers and efficiency proponents, went into effect on January 1, 2015, for products manufactured or imported on or after that date. DOE granted an 18-month grace period for installation of noncompliant central air conditioners manufactured before January 1, 2015, because of uncertainty surrounding the enforcement plan. (It was held up due to litigation related to furnace standards.) An appliance standards working group presented enforcement recommendations to DOE in December. We expect DOE to publish a proposed enforcement plan based on the recommendations in February. 

The new standards for central air conditioners increase the minimum cooling efficiency requirement for split system central air conditioners in the South and the Southwest to SEER 14 (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) while maintaining the current SEER 13 standard for the North. The new standards also include EER (energy efficiency ratio) requirements for the Southwest region to ensure efficient operation at high outdoor temperatures. For heat pumps, the standards raise the cooling efficiency requirement to SEER 14 for all three regions and increase the heating efficiency requirements. The December 29th issue of ACHR News features an informative article about the changes. 

Electric Refrigerator old sign
September was a big month for refrigerators and freezers. Standards negotiated in 2010 and adopted by DOE in 2011 went into effect on September 15th, reducing the energy use of refrigerators and freezers by about 20-25%. Read the blog post detailing these changes and highlighting key moments in the 100-year history of the modern refrigerator. 

AdFluorescent lamp ballast New standards for fluorescent lamp ballasts - the type that power your overhead fluorescent lighting - went into effect in November 2014. Prior standards effectively required electronic ballasts for T12 lamps (1 1/2 inch diameter tubes). The new rule significantly expands the scope of coverage to include ballasts that operate T8 and T5 lamps (1- and 5/8-inch diameter respectively), outdoor sign ballasts and residential ballasts, among other categories.

Up next: small electric motors and clothes washers (March) and water heaters (April)
Big Savings Across the 'Pond'

Atlantic ocean globe The U.S. isn't the only place moving ahead with energy efficiency measures. Across the Atlantic, the European Union (E.U.) is also making energy efficient waves. New energy-savings measures will save 9% of the total E.U. electricity consumption every year by 2020. In a blog post for 'Cool Products for a Cool Planet', Jack Hunter of the European Environmental Board, describes the savings as "staggering" and notes that the new directives will lower E.U. energy bills by 11.7 billion Euros (about $14 billion) annually every year by 2020. Add these to existing efficiency measures and the consumer savings amount to 79 billion Euros ($93 billion) per year by 2020. 

The E.U. energy-savings measures have two primary components:
  • The ecodesign directive is similar to the U.S. DOE energy conservation standards. 
  • The energy labelling directive is similar in intent to the yellow U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Energy Guide label - both labels help shoppers find efficient products but the E.U. label uses a grading scale which divides the models into comparative groups (categorical label), while the U.S. label shows the product's annual operating cost on a continuous line graph. A paper by Jennifer Thorne Amann of ACEEE and Christine Egan of CLASP showed that categorical labels are more effective at promoting energy efficient purchases than the continuous line graph labels used by FTC.  

Here's a look at the latest E.U. measures which went into effect January 1, 2015:  
  • New standards for electric motors, non-residential fans, water pumps and circulators for boilers;
  • Standby requirements for interconnected products such as TVs and game consoles; 
  • Labels for ovens and range hoods;
  • Stricter air conditioning labels; and
  • Requirement that online retailers show energy labels on new products
For comparison's sake, the U.S. DOE has existing efficiency standards for electric motors; has rulemakings in progress for commercial and industrial fans and water pumps; and the pumps working group recommended that DOE conduct a rulemaking for circulators. DOE is now required to incorporate standby and off mode power in standards for consumer products and has done so for products such as washers and dryers, dishwashers and room air conditioners. 

The U.S. FTC requires labels on most major home appliances including air conditioners. However, FTC does not require labels for ovens and range hoods. The FTC also requires online retailers to display energy labels.



 More infographics here
State of the States

Reese'sYou've heard of state standards and you've heard of EPA's clean power plan (111d). What happens when the two get together? Could it be the next best thing since Reese's peanut butter cups? Though we won't have all the details until the EPA releases its final rule, we know enough to say that state standards will likely be one path toward compliance. States may wish to consult ASAP staff who can provide a model bill and a state-by-state analysis of energy, cost, and CO2 savings. Though the savings from the 2015 model bill are modest, by the time states are ready to put 111d compliance plans into place next year, we hope to have additional products in the model bill. It all depends on the timing and the status of the California Energy Commission (CEC) appliance standards rulemaking. Read on to learn more about the CEC process and potential products. 
California sign
CEC published proposed appliance standards regulations and a draft staff report last fall included fluorescent dimming ballasts, air filter labeling, toilets, urinals, and faucets. On December 2nd, they submitted a required impact assessment to the California Department of Finance (DOF) and are awaiting comments.

What are the potential impacts of this rulemaking? Noteworthy in this time of drought, CEC estimates that the proposed standards for water-using products would make a huge dent over 10 years - saving 631 billion gallons of water - or enough to meet the current water needs of every customer in Los Angeles County for three years. The proposed standards would also save consumers $5 billion over the same period. CO2 reductions in 2025 are estimated at 3 million tons. You can find more about the impacts here.

On January 2, 2015, the Department of Finance responded, asking CEC to clarify the impact of standards, review direct costs, benefits and incremental costs, and identify and assess additional efficiency levels for faucets, and toilets. CEC needs to address these issues and submit the responses along with the standards package to the Department of Adminstrative Law. Once the rulemaking is complete, ASAP will determine which of the CEC products to include in the 2016 model bill. The Commission is about two-thirds of the way through the rulemaking process. 

What else is in store for 2015? Expect CEC to add to the list of products. The CEC website lists a 2015 pre-rulemaking for computers, computer monitors and signage displays.


Colorado became the fourth state (after California, Georgia, and Texas) to set efficiency requirements for plumbing products. In June 2014, the Governor signed Senate Bill 14-103, which phases out the sale of low-efficiency lavatory faucets, showerheads, toilets, and urinals. After September 1, 2016, plumbing products sold in Colorado must meet the criteria set forth by WaterSense, an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program similar to EnergyStar, which requires that products meet certain efficiency and performance requirements.  

What's Up at DOE?
DOE seal
DOE has more in store for 2015. DOE actions listed below are in addition to those already highlighted in the articles and blog posts. 

Ceiling Fans

Test Procedure Proposed Rule, September 29, 2014 and Preliminary Analysis (standards) October 17. 2014

Test procedure: DOE is proposing an efficiency metric for ceiling fans of CFM/W that would be calculated based on measurements of airflow and power consumption. The metric would also incorporate any standby power consumption. 


Standards: In the preliminary analysis, DOE analyzed potential efficiency levels for both residential and commercial and industrial ceiling fans. DOE found that currently-available technologies could reduce ceiling fan energy use by up to 60-70%. The efficiency of ceiling fans can be improved by employing higher-efficiency motors and more-efficient fan blades and by optimizing fan design.

Ceiling Fan Light Kits

Test Procedure Proposed Rule and Preliminary Analysis (standards), October 31, 2014

Test Procedure: DOE is proposing to use lamp efficacy (lumens per watt) as the metric for all ceiling fan light kits, except for those with integrated LED circuitry. The test procedures would reference existing DOE test procedures for specific lamp types,  where available, or industry test procedures. 

Standards: DOE is proposing to restructure the three current product classes (based on socket type) into two classes based on the type of ballast - externally-ballasted or driven lamps (1% of the market) and all others (99% of the market). The current standards apply a wattage limit rather than an efficacy requirement to socket types other than medium-base and pin-based sockets, which has resulted in a market shift to candelabra and intermediate base sockets. The new proposed product classes would mean that lamps for all socket types would have to meet a minimum efficacy requirement.
DOE estimates that new standards for ceiling fan light kits could result in energy savings of about 40 billion kWh and up to $4 billion in net consumer savings over 30 years of purchases.  


Commercial Packaged Boilers

Preliminary Analysis, November 20, 2014

DOE has published preliminary analysis evaluating potential amended efficiency standards for commercial packaged boilers. The preliminary analysis covers both gas- and oil-fired boilers, and boilers that produce either hot water or steam. Significant energy savings could be achieved by moving to condensing boilers, which can extract more heat from the fuel than non-condensing boilers.


Commercial Package Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps

Proposed Rule, December 23, 2014

DOE has issued proposed standards for commercial package air conditioners and heat pumps (also known as rooftop units) that would save almost 12 quads of energy over 30 years of sales. The proposed standards would reduce the energy use of rooftop units by about 20-50%. While the current standards for rooftop units are based on EER, which measures efficiency at full load, the proposed standards are instead based on a metric called integrated energy efficiency ratio (IEER), which captures efficiency at 25, 50, 75, and 100% of full capacity and better reflects annual energy use.


External Power Supplies 

Test Procedure Proposed Rule, October 9, 2014

DOE is proposing to revise the EPS test procedure to harmonize with the latest version of IEC 62301, clarify which standards apply to which EPS type, add an optional test of energy consumption at 10% loading, and add an optional measurement of power factor. 

Miscellaneous Refrigeration Products (formerly called wine chillers)

Preliminary Analysis, December 3, 2014

DOE has conducted preliminary analysis for miscellaneous refrigeration products, which include wine chillers; refrigerators that use thermoelectric or absorption technology rather than a traditional vapor-compression refrigeration system; hybrid refrigerators and freezers, which incorporate wine storage compartments; and residential ice makers. DOE is considering establishing energy conservation standards for these products for the first time.


Packaged Terminal Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps

Proposed Rule, September 16, 2014

DOE has issued proposed standards for packaged terminal air conditioners and heat pumps, which are commonly used to heat and cool motel rooms. The efficiency of packaged terminal air conditioners and heat pumps can be improved by employing higher-efficiency compressors and fan motors and larger heater exchangers.

Fun Facts  

Correct answer is c 

One-half of the energy in the manufacturing sector is consumed by electric motors! It should come as no surprise that businesses will reap very large savings from the new standards. DOE estimates that businesses and industry will net up to $28 billion in utility bill savings from sales over a 30-year period while energy savings over that same period will climb to 800 billion kilowatt-hours, or enough to power 80 million U.S. households for a year. EPA's Today in Energy reports that "about two thirds of this machine-drive consumption occurs in the bulk chemicals, food, petroleum and coal products, primary metals, and paper industries."

The compliance date for the new standards is June, 2016. 
For more info: 

Marianne DiMascio, Appliance Standards Awareness Project

[email protected]


In This Issue
2014 Goes Out With a Bang (an Efficient Bang)
Working Group Pumps Out Recommendations for Pumps
Keeping Tabs on Compliance Dates
Big Savings Across the 'Pond'
State of the States
What's up at DOE?
Got Rooftop Air Conditioning?
Standards in the News
The ASAP Blog
Fun Facts
Got rooftop air conditioning? 
Rooftop unit
New Air Conditioner Standards Would Rank as Biggest Energy Saver in US DOE history: Proposed Standard Would Save Businesses Billions

Anthony Fryer
Anthony Fryer, ASAP's senior analyst, has taken a position as the Building Technologies Program Administrator at the Minnesota State Energy Office. He will lead the state's building technologies program, with a focus on developing and coordinating the zero net energy buildings program and other programs promoting market transformation of energy conservation and renewable energy technologies. His last day at ASAP was January 9th. We thank Anthony for his work with ASAP and wish him well in his new position. (new contact info
Standards in the News
Seen in the Washington Post:

By Chris Mooney, Washington Post 
The ASAP Blog
Read our recent blog posts:

General service fluorescent lamp and automatic commercial ice maker final rules:
Energy department rings in new year with new efficiency standards for lighting and icemakers

Single package vertical AC and heat pumps proposed rule:
New air conditioner standards would reduce cooling costs for modular classrooms and offices
Dishwasher proposed rule:

Commercial clothes washer final rule: 

Refrigerator - 40 years of efficiency improvements:
One small bill made it through Congress

H.R. 5057, the External Power Supply Service Parts Act of 2014, was passed by unanimous consent and signed into law on December 18, 2014. It exempts spare and replacement parts for external power supplies from specified energy efficiency standards. The law exempts the spare parts through 2020.
LEDs - they just keep getting better!
reports that LEDs are improving in both quality and efficiency. Some of the newer LEDs are clocking in at efficacy levels above 100 lumens per watt (lpw). For comparison's sake, traditional incandescent light bulbs, which waste about 90% of the energy they create, provide only about 13-18 lpw. 

Read more about LED color quality and efficacy
Fun Facts
Electric Motor

Nearly ____ of the energy consumed in the manufacturing sector is used for powering motors, such as for fans, compressors, pumps, and conveyors

a. all
b. one-fourth
c. one-half
d. one-third

See answer below.