New DOE Standards for Residential Refrigerator & Freezers

DOE Has High Standards, Sets New Efficiency Requirements For Refrigerators And Freezers

Alliance to Save Energy, September 22, 2014

In 2011, the Department of Energy (DOE) issued standards for home refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers and freezers to increase the energy efficiency of these commonly-used appliances. The standards reflect several recommendations made to DOE from states, home appliances manufacturers, consumer groups and efficiency proponents — including The Alliance and several of our Associates.

Last week the new standards became effective, establishing a new maximum annual energy consumption limit and reducing refrigerators’ energy usage by 20 to 25 percent, depending on product class. Consumers have a lot to celebrate, as appliances that comply with these regulations are expected to save them tens of billions of dollars on electricity bills over the next 30 years. This new rule will also benefit the environment — each year enough energy will be saved to power 3.4 million homes, which will cut down carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to the removal of 70 million cars from the road for an entire year.

It is also worth mentioning that this is the first time that refrigerator and freezer standards take ice maker energy use into consideration. Prior to this date, models with ice makers were assumed to consume an additional set amount of 84 kilowatt hours (kWh). That averaged number will be replaced by the appropriately measured energy use of ice makers, providing consumers with more accurate information. This new addition to energy standards will certainly push manufacturers to further improve the energy efficiency of both refrigerators and automatic icemakers.

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