Commercial, Energy Efficiency - January 1, 2016
DOE announces new efficiency standard, expected to save businesses billions
The U.S. Department of Energy on Dec. 21, 2015, announced new energy efficiency standards for commercial air conditioners and furnaces. With the new standards, according to the Department, over the lifetimes of the products, businesses will save $167 billion on their utility bills and carbon pollution will be reduced by 885 million metric tons.
"Just days after the Paris agreement to cut global emissions and create a new era of affordable energy, today's announcement marks the largest energy-saving standard in history and demonstrates that America is leading the effort to reduce energy costs and cut carbon emissions," Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said in a DOE blog post. "This rule also shows that strong public-private partnerships can reap environmental and economic dividends and drive technology breakthroughs. These standards are a direct result of the Energy Department's negotiated rule-making process which brings diverse stakeholders to the negotiating table and supports industry innovation, demonstrating how government and business can work together to meet U.S. carbon reduction goals."
The new commercial air conditioning and furnace standards will be rolled out in two phases. The first begins in 2018, and is expected to deliver a 13% efficiency improvement in products. After five years, an additional 15% efficiency increase will be required for new commercial units, according to the DOE.