Billions In Energy Savings Predicted

National appliance standards for 26 common household and business products planned during President Obama’s current term could slash total U.S. electricity use by over 1,900 terawatt-hours (1.9 trillion kilowatt-hours) cumulatively by 2030 while saving consumers and businesses over $123 billion, according to a report released by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and the Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP).

The new standards also could make a big contribution to U.S. efforts to cut global warming carbon dioxide pollution, eliminating 158 million tons per year by 2030.

About half the total energy savings would come from new standards for fluorescent lights, water heaters, home furnaces, furnace fans and refrigerators.

In many cases, standards first set in the 1980s or 1990s are due to be updated and can now be strengthened thanks to technological improvements. Cumulative savings from already existing standards total about $2,800 per household; savings from new standards due in the next few years could save an additional $1,100 per household over the life of the affected products.

Kitchen/Bath Design

KraftMaid Simplifies Digital Design

To help designers and architects simplify the design process, KraftMaid is now offering 3-D cabinet models as Google SketchUp Dynamic Components in the Google 3D Warehouse. As Dynamic Components, these models make it easier for designers to create highly functional, personalized spaces for their clients.

Since the cabinet collections are modeled as Dynamic Components, designers can show their clients a virtual kitchen, bath, home office or laundry room design with animated cabinet doors and drawers.

Dynamic Components are SketchUp components to which attributes have been assigned. Attributes can be simple pieces of additional information, such as part numbers and dimensions.

KraftMaid Dynamic Components 3-D models are produced by digital media firm Igloo Studios. To download these models from the Google 3D Warehouse, visit and search “Collections” using the search words, “KraftMaid Cabinetry by MASCO.”


Alternative to White Roofs

Tests conducted by the Oak Ridge National Laboratories (ORNL) indicate that a cool metal roof can save a homeowner up to 25 percent in cooling costs compared to a dark-gray asphalt shingle and avoid potential complaints from neighbors about reflective white roofs.

In areas with cold winters, above-sheathing ventilation is the key to achieving year-round benefits. New ORNL research shows that additional savings are possible if metal roofs are installed with an air-ventilation gap above the sheathing — the cool roof and air gap save energy in the summer, and the air space cuts heat loss in the winter.

ORNL’s field tests have shown that the combination of venting and increased reflectance can reduce the heat penetrating the roof deck by about 45 percent for stone-coated metal roofs compared to an asphalt shingle roof in certain climates. Ongoing research with standing-seam cool-colored metal roofs is showing similar results.