The Department of Energy (DOE) finalized or proposed a bevy of regulatory actions cracking down on numerous appliances on Friday.
The DOE proposed new rules designed to promote “energy efficient” commercial fans and blowers, and also finalized energy efficiency standards for refrigerators and freezers, the agency announced Friday. The regulatory actions are the latest in a string of moves by the Biden administration intended to phase out a host of fossil fuel-powered appliances and replace them on the market with more energy efficient, and often electric, equivalents.
“Today’s announcement is a testament to the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to lowering utility costs for working families, which is helping to simultaneously strengthen energy independence and combat the climate crisis,” Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said of her agency’s actions. “DOE will continue to move quickly in 2024—together with our industry partners and stakeholders—to update and strengthen outdated energy efficiency standards, which is critical to innovation, more consumer options, and healthier communities.”
Compliance with the finalized fridge and freezer standards will be required starting in either 2029 or 2030, depending on the model and configuration of the equipment, according to the agency. The DOE projects that the rule will cut carbon dioxide emissions by more than 100 million tons.
The proposed set of regulations are modeled on those already in place in California, according to the DOE. The regulations are expected to kick in starting in 2029 and are projected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 300 million tons.
The Biden administration, led primarily by the DOE, has promulgated numerous regulatory actions that are designed to reduce the use of fossil fuel-powered appliances that tend to be cheaper up front than their more “energy efficient” counterparts. Other appliances the administration has sought to regulate include water heaters, gas-powered portable generators, furnaces and pool pump motors.
Numerous energy policy experts have asserted that the Biden administration’s regulatory blitz on appliances is likely to limit consumer choice and impose higher up-front costs for the sake of fighting climate change. The DOE, on the other hand, estimates that the full suite of energy efficiency regulations will provide approximately $1 trillion in consumer savings over the next 30 years.
The DOE did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
Nick Popeon December 29, 2023