CBS Newsletter
Spring 1995
pg. 4

Appliance Efficiency Standards

Part 1 of 2

In the National Energy Policy Conservation Act (1978), Congress required DOE to set energy-efficiency standards for 13 residential appliances if technologically feasible and economically justified. In 1987, the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NAECA) established the first national standards for refrigerators and freezers, furnaces, air conditioners, and other appliances and established a schedule for possible updates. It was supported by manufacturers largely because it eliminated disparate state standards. The legislation was also supported by environmental and consumer groups, received broad bipartisan support in Congress, and was signed into law by President Reagan. Subsequent amendments added fluorescent lamp ballasts, and the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPAct) added lamps (incandescent and fluorescent), small electric motors, office equipment, and plumbing products.

LBL's Role

The Center's Energy Analysis Program has been a contractor to DOE since 1979 and the prime contractor for engineering and economic analysis of appliance standards since 1982. Currently about 25 people work on this project, including six scientists. LBL's role is to provide economic and technical analysis of alternative standard levels in support of the DOE, which selects the standard levels that ultimately become law.

The analysis of appliance standards includes:

Analytical Results

Appliance standards have beneficial economic and environmental effects. The projected economic effects of standards to date (including original legislation and updates) include the following:

The results from NAECA and updates that have already become law, and not counting EPAct or proposed rules will be:

The second part of this article, to appear in the summer issue, will explore the policy context of appliance standards and describe the success of energy efficiency standards for refrigerators.

—Jim McMahon

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Jim McMahon
Energy Analysis Program
(510) 486-6049; (510) 486-6996 fax


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