This year, the U.S. Department of Energy increased energy efficiency standards for refrigerators and freezers, requiring them to be more efficient than previous models. These products will have new EnergyGuide labels, and though they may show different – and in some cases, higher – energy usage than previous models, they are as efficient, if not more. The change in energy usage stated on the tag is due to new measurements and taking into account updated electricity rates, which are higher than in years past.
“We can all do our part in meeting the challenge of climate change,” said Janet McCabe, the principal deputy assistant administrator of the EPA’s air and radiation office, told The Hill in a statement. “By choosing Energy Star appliances, families can save energy, save money, and reduce carbon pollution.”
The EPA predicts that consumers could save up to $1,100 over the life of the device on energy costs by updating to a new Energy Star certified refrigerator. In 2012, the certification helped Americans save $24 billion on their utility bills and prevented the equivalent of 50 million vehicles’ greenhouse gas emissions, according to the EPA.
What This Means For Refrigerators
The first new standards to be issued by the DOE since 2001, the requirements – which go into effect September 15, 2014 – mandate:
- Top-freezer and side-by-side refrigerator models increase efficiency by 25%
- Bottom-freezer refrigerators increase efficiency by 20%
PLUS, the new ENERGY STAR Program, developed in conjunction with the DOE and the Environmental Protection Agency, require:
- ENERGY STAR top-freezer and side-by-side refrigerator models increase efficiency by 35%
- EENERGY STAR bottom-freezer refrigerators increase efficiency by 30%
The new certification testing procedure began January 1, 2014 – and some manufacturers have already taken steps to ensure their products pass the new regulations. GE, for example, has invested over $1 Billion over the past two years to design and manufacture new appliance products that will comply with the new 2014 energy standards. Though there are rumors of a $50 increase. Thermador and LG have also followed suit, assuring customers that every appliance available for purchase this year will have the new ENERGY STAR rating or Department of Energy 2014 authorization.
For other manufacturers such as the Whirlpool family and Frigidaire, some models will be updated and simply change SKUs while others will be discontinued all together.
The remaining inventory of refrigerators which do no meet the new energy standards will be available for purchase by dealers until the inventory has been depleted. However, these products may not be marked or promoted as ENERGY STAR certified.
To learn how these new regulations will affect your refrigeration purchases, contact your FBS sales representative.