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Improving Energy Efficiency Standards for Electric Transformers

Case Number # 1716

We've all seen them -- those gray boxes mounted on telephone poles. Those boxes are electricity distribution transformers, and they serve to reduce the power of electric current from the high voltage used in transmission lines to the lower voltages we use in our homes, offices, and businesses.

Some transformers lose a lot more electricity than others, and all those inefficient transformers add up to a huge amount of wasted energy. According to the Department of Energy, if our utility companies started installing only the most efficient transformers available on the market today, the energy we save would avoid the need to construct 20 large-scale power plants by the year 2038.

However, instead of requiring these more efficient models, the DOE selected weak standards for electricity distribution transformers, ignoring the environmental benefits of going to stronger standards.

Earthjustice challenged the adoption of these standards, and in August 2009, the DOE settled the case, agreeing to review existing efficiency standards and propose changes to maximize future savings three year earlier than otherwise required.

Press Releases

Friday, December 11, 2009
This Sunday, DOE Secretary Chu to discuss U.S. efforts on energy efficiency; more work can be done.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Agency will review current standard and propose stronger ones by 2011
Monday, March 9, 2009
Stronger standards would save energy, cut global warming pollution by 700 million tons
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Stronger standards would save energy, cut global warming pollution by 700 million tons