Tag: department of energy

ENERGY STAR Most Efficient Program Made Permanent for 2013

by on Oct.09, 2012, under ENERGY STAR

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has made the “Most Efficient” Program permanent for 2013.  This ENERGY STAR program identifying the most efficient products has been in pilot mode since being introduced in 2011.

In 2012, more than 1,400 qualifying models from over 50 manufacturers in 8 product categories were recognized as ENERGY STAR Most Efficient.

In 2013, EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) are proposing to add four new categories to the ENERGY STAR Most Efficient recognition program:

  • Ventilating fans
  • Ceiling fans
  • Computer monitors
  • Windows

Also for 2013, criteria for clothes washers and televisions are changed from 2012 in response to advances in the market. Further, EPA is proposing tailored requirements for ductless heating and cooling equipment recognizing different product applications than ducted products. For the remaining product types, 2012 recognition criteria have been maintained.

On September 27, EPA held a webinar to discuss the proposed 2013 recognition criteria.  Stakeholder comments are due to mostefficient@energystar.gov by October 12.  The 2013 criteria will be finalized by late October.

MET’s ENERGY STAR Program Manager will be at the 2012 ENERGY STAR Products Partner Meeting October 22–24, 2012 in St. Paul, Minnesota.  Send an email to info@metlabs.com to schedule to meet with him.

Find out more about Energy Efficiency Product Testing.

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ENERGY STAR Meeting Closes With Specification Updates

by on Oct.08, 2010, under ENERGY STAR

Yesterday was the last day of the ENERGY STAR Partner Meeting in Denver, CO.  On the agenda was an overview of planned and pending specification updates for ENERGY STAR qualified appliances, including clothes washers, dishwashers, room air conditioners, and refrigerators-freezers.  Also covered was the ambitious Super Efficient Dryer Initiative. 

Clothes Washers
Revised criteria takes effect 1-1-11.  Revised criteria for combination washer/dryers expected to take effect 4-1-11.

Week of 2-3-11 – All in one requirements proposed
Week of 2-27-11 – Stakeholder call on proposed requirements
Week of 3-6-11 – 2nd draft of requirements proposal
Week of 4-1-11 – Finalized

Effective 12-15-10, resume with test procedure specified under 10 CFR 430.  Additionally, report (will be used for EPA analysis only):

  • Remaining moisture content after each wash cycle
  • Water used by dryer (where applicable)
  • Water temperature & pressure

Estimated annual dollar savings of the new requirements: $75
Payback: 2 years, 8 months

Market share of ENERGY STAR dishwashers:

  • 2000 – 10%
  • 2006 – 92%
  • 2009 – 68%

Changes in ENERGY STAR criteria were in 2007 & 2009.

EPA is considering:

  • Phosphate-free detergents – 16 states have banned phosphates & industry banned them 7-1-10
  • AHAM/Advocates proposal
  • Goal is to deliver efficiency with no sacrifice in performance. 

Cleaning performance tests being analyzed for suitability:

  • AHAM-DW-1-2009
  • IEC 60436 3rd Edition
  • NSF 184 2003
  • Consumers Union
  • AHAM-DW-1-1992
  • Good Housekeeping

AHAM/Advocates proposed new standard, effective 1-1-13:

  • Standard: 307 kWh/year; 5 gallons/cycle
  • Compact: 222 kWh/year; 3.5 gallons/cycle

Percent of models that qualify at various efficiency levels:

  • 81% meet ENERGY STAR
  • 36% meet 2011 ENERGY STAR
  • 16% meet CEE Tier 2
  • 10% meet 280 kWh; 4 gallons/cycle

Proposed criteria of the Draft 1 v 5.0 spec:
Standard: Not to exceed 280 kWh/year; 4 gallons/cycle

Anticipated schedule for criteria updates:

  • 10-26-10 – Stakeholder meeting in Washington, D.C. to discuss Draft 1 specification
  • 11-3-10 – Comment closes on Draft 1

Room Air Conditioners (RACs)
Why are RACs under review?  They have a high market share – 36% (2009 est.) – and the specification has not been revised since 2001.

Factors EPA is considering:

  • R-22 refrigerant
  • AHAM/Advocates proposal – 38 advocates
  • New federal standard – at or above current ENERGY STAR levels

R-22 was phased out beginning 1-1-10.  R-410A is the new refrigerant, but it needs a more powerful compressor.  It is time to revisit the criteria, according to Ryan Fogle of D&R International, on behalf of EPA.

New DOE test procedure is based on combined energy efficiency ratio (CEER).
EPA is not considering partial load technology, due to a lack of test procedure.

Release a Draft 1 specification by 10-31-10.  Aim to get new criteria in place by 2012.

Specification is due for an update:

  • MoU calls for reviews at a minimum of every 3 years, or 35% market share (reached in 2009)
  • Concerns about absolute energy consumption of units, and comparison between product classes

DOE changes to federal test procedures:

  • Eliminate ambiguity
  • Improve harmonization with international standards, test repeatability, better reflect actual energy consumption & include updated AHAM standard HRF-1-2008
  • Address auto icemaker energy use
  • Changes to compartment temperature settings

DOE has proposed new standards for 2014.  Compared to 2001 standards:

  • 20-25% for refrigerators/freezers and refrigerators
  • 20-30% for freezers
  • 10-25% for compact refrigerators

Address vulnerabilities due to relative efficiency (opportunity to improve the life-cycle performance):

  • Allow more energy per cubic foot
  • Refrigerators are allowed to have a high absolute energy consumption and still qualify for ENERGY STAR

Begin revision in late 2010; finalize new specification in 2011.

Scoping for 2011 (anticipated)
Countertop appliances (e.g. coffee makers)

Super Efficient Dryer Initiative (SEDI)
ENERGY STAR does not currently label clothes dryers because there is currently little difference in energy use among models.

Objective: Bring super high efficient dryers to North American market.

Primary goals:
2010 – Collaboration
2011 – Product development & field data
2012 – Pilots in North America
2013 – ENERGY STAR & full market launch
2020 – 50% energy reduction

There are greater than 20 “A” labeled super efficient dryers on the EU market.  25% of Swiss market is super efficient, with a goal of 100% by 2012.

Bosch sells a high efficiency heat-pump-operated (condensing) dryer in Europe: WTW86561CH uses 1.35 kWh.

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Manufacturers to Improve Appliance Efficiency, in Exchange for Concessions

by on Sep.20, 2010, under ENERGY STAR

In a surprise move, an appliance manufacturers group has teamed with energy efficiency and environmental groups to push for significantly beefed-up efficiency standards for refrigerators, freezers, washers, dryers, air conditioners and dishwashers.  Here’s why: Efficiency upgrades are bundled with:

  • The hope for a 3-year extension of the manufacturers’ tax credit
  • A petition this month to the ENERGY STAR program that asks for a 5% credit to the required energy levels for smart-grid enabled appliances
  • Recommendations that the Department of Energy improve test methods for dryers and refrigerators

The appliance group – the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers or AHAM – represents manufacturers that account for 95% of the major appliances shipped in the U.S., including:

  • Electrolux
  • General Electric
  • LG Electronics
  • Miele
  • Samsung
  • Sharp Electronics
  • Sub-Zero/Wolf
  • Viking Range
  • Whirlpool

See the AHAM’s press release here.

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