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John Cymbalsky, program manager of Appliance and Equipment Standards within DOE’s Building Technologies Office (BTO), was recently recognized as a “Champion of Energy Efficiency” by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). The award recognizes leadership and accomplishment in the energy efficiency field, and winners were selected based on demonstrated excellence in research and development, energy policy, implementation and deployment, buildings leadership, or lifetime achievement. Cymbalsky was nominated by his peers, and then ultimately selected by a committee of ACEEE’s board of directors based on his impact, innovation, and leadership in the energy efficiency field. Cymbalsky was recognized for his leadership at the Appliance and Equipment Standards Program, where he has streamlined the rulemaking process and improved transparency.
DOE’s Appliance and Equipment Standards Program covers more than 60 products, representing about 90% of home energy use, 60% of commercial building energy use, and 30% of industrial energy use. These standards cover products consumers and businesses use each day, such as space heating and cooling, refrigeration, cooking, clothes washing and drying, and lighting. In 2015 alone, American consumers saved $63 billion on their utility bills as a result of these standards.
“The program gets consumers value without sacrificing performance,” said Cymbalsky. “By removing inefficient appliances from the market, it not only saves energy but also improves innovation from the manufacturers by focusing research and development on making products more efficient with more consumer-friendly features and similar performance.”
Cymbalsky’s program is a major component of the President’s Climate Action Plan, which addresses climate change and minimizing carbon emissions on a national scale. Since the beginning of the administration, 42 new or updated appliance standards have been issued across more than 45 appliances, which together will save consumers over $540 billion by 2030 and cut greenhouse gas emissions by over 2 billion metric tons through 2030. Included among these 42 is the largest energy-saving standard in history, which sets minimum energy performance standards for commercial air conditioners and furnaces and is expected to save U.S. businesses $167 billion on their utility bills and cut carbon pollution by 885 million metric tons over 30 years. Collectively, these 42 standards bring DOE more than two-thirds of the way to achieving the goal of reducing carbon pollution by 3 billion metric tons cumulatively by 2030 through standards set in President Obama’s first and second terms.
Cymbalsky has been a major force in driving the Appliance and Equipment Standards Program toward this achievement, and ACEEE’s award offers further recognition of the critical role he plays in U.S. energy efficiency policy and implementation.
Prior to joining BTO in 2010, Cymbalsky worked for more than 20 years at the U.S. Energy Information Administration, where he was responsible for the development of the National Energy Modeling System’s Residential Energy Demand Module. He has also participated in and authored many studies related to energy efficiency and various policies impacting residential sector energy use.
Cymbalsky was recognized as a finalist for the 2014 Science and Environment Medal as part of the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals program, commonly known as the Sammies. The Sammies are presented annually to federal employees who have made significant contributions to our country through their work as public servants. Honorees are chosen based on their dedication and innovation, as the impact of their work in addressing the needs of our nation.