Sunday, October 7, 2007

CMI: U.S. Programs for Appliance Efficiency Part 1

Article 4 in a series that looks Princeton's Carbon Mitigation Initiative, which has proposed 15 carbon reduction strategies, in 4 broad categories, each of which could be scaled up to provide 1/7th the CO2 reduction necessary to stabilize the atmosphere.

Category 1: Efficiency and Conservation
Efficient Buildings

In the U.S. two government programs emphasize appliance efficiency. One is appliance efficiency standards, overseen by the Department of Energy, and the other is Energy Star, overseen by the EPA in conjunction with the DOE.

Energy Star:

In the U.S. the most well-known program focused on energy efficient appliances is Energy Star. Products that are labeled Energy Star are more efficient than their non-Energy Star counterparts, using between 10 to 75% less energy. According to the EPA's own numbers, during 2006, use of ENERGY STAR products helped Americans prevent about 37 million metric tons of emissions and save about 170 billion kWh, or about 5% of the total 2006 power demand.

In the past 5 years, the total number of Energy Star products sold has doubled, to about 2 billion; the carbon savings associated with Energy Star products has also doubled since 2000, and grew by 10% over the last year. There are now 50 product categories eligible for the Energy Star label, up from only 35 in 2002. About 200,000 new Energy Star qualified homes were built last year, and another 26,000 were completely overhauled to improve efficiency.

Next Post: Appliance Standards

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