New Efficiency Standards for Rooftop Units to Produce Greatest Savings Yet

The Big Kahuna: DOE Proposes Rule for Commercial Air Conditioners that Offers Biggest Potential Savings Yet

Switchboard, September 18, 2014

The White House announced a number of commitments to energy efficiency this morning, not the least of which is a proposed energy efficiency standard for rooftop air conditioners that could produce the largest electricity savings under any U.S. appliance efficiency standard to date.

Known as commercial unitary air conditioners, these units are found on over half of commercial buildings, typically on roofs of anything from schools and big box stores to warehouses and manufacturing plants. According to the White House, increasing their energy efficiency could save 11.7 quads of energy over the life of the units shipped in the next 30 years – equal to more than half of all the residential energy used in one year!

For comparison, many DOE appliance standards result in savings of one quad or less. And while these smaller savings are also significant and add up to big national energy savings when taken together—almost 12 quads is really the big kahuna!

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