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Unplugged: DOE Standards Will Save Americans Money

Thanks to action taken by the U.S. Department of Energy, American consumers are expected to save more than $21 billion (through 2043) on their utility bills as a result of new energy efficiency standards for home refrigerators and freezers. The new standards will improve the efficiency of these appliances by about 25 percent starting in 2014. An average American consumer is expected to save more than $200 in electricity bill savings over the lifetime of a typical refrigerator. Manufacturers, consumer groups and environmentalists, including Earthjustice, all worked together to come up with these new standards.

Here is what Earthjustice attorney Tim Ballo said about the new standards:

These new standards simultaneously cut down on greenhouse gas emissions while slashing energy costs for American families. And because they have the backing of such a broad array of stakeholders, we can be confident they’ll take effect on schedule in 2014, and not be tied up in legal challenges or gutted by a hostile Congress. In recognizing the value of consensus standards, the Obama administration has made a smart move toward a clean energy future.

In a statement, DOE Secretary Steven Chu said:

These standards reflect a consensus among manufacturers, consumer groups and environmentalists. The agreement builds on more than three decades of common-sense state and federal refrigerator efficiency standards that have collectively saved American families hundreds of billions of dollars. What's so remarkable is that even as the size of American refrigerators has increased and more features have been added, the historical purchase prices have come down and we are all saving money on our electricity bills every month.

These new fridge and freezer standards build on previous efficiency standards for refrigerators, which have already reduced energy use for American homeowners. According to DOE’s analysis, the standards will ultimately save enough electricity each year to power 3.4 million homes, which is about the same number of homes in the entire state of Virginia. The agency also estimated that these standards will avoid more than 340 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions over 30 years.

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