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Secretary Chu Announces Completion of Critical Energy Conservation Appliance Standards

September 1, 2009 - 12:00am


Washington, DC - U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced today that the Department of Energy has completed energy efficiency standards for a critical group of appliances that will together save up to 1.1 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide once in effect.  In February 2009, President Obama visited the Department of Energy to emphasize the importance of quickening the pace of energy conservation standards for appliances, while continuing to meet legal and statutory deadlines. Yesterday, the minimum energy efficiency standards for beverage vending machines - the last of the five energy conservation standards the President highlighted in his memorandum to DOE - were published in the Federal Register.

"These energy efficiency appliance standards will play an important role in lowering energy use in homes and business across the country," said Secretary Chu.  "By improving the energy efficiency of each of these appliances - from lighting to ovens to vending machines - we can save money, reduce carbon pollution and increase our energy security."

This is the first time the Department of Energy is regulating energy consumption for the approximately 2.3 million beverage vending machines in use in the U.S. The final rule published on Monday will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 9.6 million metric tons from 2012 through 2042 - roughly equivalent to removing over 2 million automobiles from the road for a year - and will save commercial customers of the machines between $38 and $52 million per year over the same time period.  The efficiency standards, which take effect in 2012, apply to both glass-front type and solid-front type beverage vending machines that are commonly found in office buildings, schools, colleges, retail sites, and manufacturing facilities.

This year, DOE has also released energy conservation standards for:

  • Dishwashers and general service incandescent lamps
  • Microwaves and electric and gas kitchen ranges and ovens
  • General service fluorescent lamps and incandescent reflector lamps
  • Comercial boilers and air conditioning equipment

Each of the final standards was issued on time and ahead of any applicable deadlines.  To ensure that the appliance standards are as effective as possible, DOE will work to aggressively and consistently enforce energy efficiency standards across the country. 

The final rule, as issued by the Secretary of Energy on August 7, 2009, can be viewed and downloaded from the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's website.

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