appliance standards

New Rooftop Air Conditioning Standards Save Tons of Energy

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - With summer coming to an end, it’s time for many of us to put away our air conditioners, or shut them down for the season. That takes care of one significant contributor to our monthly energy bill. According to the DOE, air conditioning is responsible for roughly 5% of all the electricity produced in the US. It also accounts for roughly 9% of the energy used in a “typical” home, though, of course, that will vary widely by location. In commercial buildings, where equipment as well as people can have cooling needs, that number can be as high as 14%.

It’s true that here in the Northern Hemisphere, heating exceeds cooling as a portion of our energy footprint. But as we look to the future, much of the world that has yet to be developed is in the South. This portends a major rise in AC demand. According to the PBL Netherland Environmental Assessment Agency, global demand for cooling will exceed that for heating well before the end of this century.

Therefore, this is an excellent time for the US Department of Energy to propose new standards for air conditioner efficiency, since so much new technology is developed and/or marketed here in the US. That means that new designs meeting these higher standards will be available when the anticipated great surge in air conditioning takes place. This complements other energy saving standards we wrote about earlier this month.

The new standard would slash air conditioning energy usage by 30%. While that might not seem like a lot, given the tremendous amount of energy devoted to this sector, it turns out to be the largest energy savings ever achieved by any DOE energy standard*. The new standard is expected to save some 1.3 trillion kWh over its life. Because this new standard is specifically directed at commercial rooftop air conditioning, that amounts to some $16 to 30 billion in savings to businesses.

Federal Agencies Saving Surprising Amounts of Energy

Talk about flying under the radar! While the White House and Congress are in gridlock, with the legislative body doing everything they can to ensure that nothing is being done about climate change, a number of provisions that were included in the 2007 Energy and Security Act that was passed during the Bush administration are quietly being used to produce enormous energy savings for the American people.

According to a white paper by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE), actions that have already been taken, are planned, or that are now underway, could have a net present value, through 2040, of $2.6 trillion. That’s roughly equivalent to the entire US government tax revenue for the year 2013. It also equates to 34 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide and a reduction of energy consumption equivalent to 3.4 million barrels a day. For comparison purposes, the US has been emitting somewhere between 5 and 6 billion metric tons per year since 1990 and imports roughly 9 million barrels of oil per day. That works out to an annual reduction in emissions exceeding 20%.

These actions are being taken through various Federal agencies including DOE, EPA, Dept. of Agriculture, and Housing and Urban Development (HUD). These include appliance standards (both existing and proposed), vehicle standards (existing and proposed), power plant standard (proposed), and housing policies (existing and proposed). Results are shown for the cumulative estimated savings by 2040 in the table below.

Obama Launches Host of New Actions and Commitments on Renewables & Efficiency

(3Bl Media/Justmeans) - There is a sea change gradually sweeping across this country, propelled, perhaps, by the idea of an actual sea change rather than the familiar metaphorical one. Seas are rising, become less salty, more acidic. Currents are changing direction, giving birth to new winds, some of them quite temperamental.

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