Energy Department Standards to Save Billions in Electricity Bills

WASHINGTON — The Department of Energy (DOE) has introduced two new energy efficiency standards in support of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan.

The new standards apply to general service fluorescent lamps (GSFLs) and automatic commercial ice makers (ACIMs).

GSFLs are generally used for home indoor lighting, commercial establishments such as restaurants and in industrial factories. On average, they consume 630 hours of energy per household, 4,000 hours per commercial establishment and 4,5000 hours per industrial sector establishment each year. The new standard for GSFLs will help reduce harmful carbon dioxide pollution by 90 million metric tons — equivalent to the carbon pollution from the annual electricity use of more than 12 million homes — and save Americans more than $15 billion in electricity bills through 2030.

The standard for (ACIMs), which provide large volumes of ice typically used in soft drinks will help reduce harmful carbon dioxide pollution by 4 million metric tons and save Americans nearly $600 million in electricity bills through 2030. This equipment is used in a wide variety of locations, including in hotels, restaurants and cafeterias, hospitals, schools, grocery and other retail stores and office buildings.

ACIMs and GSFLs are the two pieces of equipment on DOE’s list of 10 products ranging from electric motors to lamp fixtures for which the department has laid out energy-saving standards over the past year. Altogether, the standards finalized last year are expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 435 million metric tons and save families and businesses $78 billion in electricity bills through 2030.

President Obama unveiled his Climate Action Plan in November 2013 during a speech at the United Nation’s Climate Summit in New York City, a meeting of world leaders that highlighted climate action commitments from world leaders.

“As part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, the Energy Department set an ambitious goal of finalizing 10 energy efficiency standards this year, and with the new efficiency standards for [GSFLs] and [ACIMs], we have reached that goal,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz in a statement. “The Energy Department is committed to building on this progress and will continue to develop standards that move the U.S. closer to a low-carbon future.”

Since the beginning of the Obama Administration, DOE has finalized new efficiency standards for more than 30 household and commercial products, including dishwashers, refrigerators and water heaters, which are estimated to save consumers nearly $480 billion through 2030. The administration has promised to continue establishing new efficiency standards that, when combined with the progress already made, will reduce carbon pollution by at least 3 billion metric tons by 2030. That’s equal to more than a year’s carbon pollution from the entire U.S. electricity system.