Agreeement Reached On Appliance Energy Use

Washington, DC — The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, along with a nationwide coalition of energy and water efficiency supporters, have forged an agreement that will establish new mandatory federal energy and water efficiency standards, new “ENERGY STAR” levels and manufacturer tax credits for the production of super-efficient major home appliances, AHAM announced.

According to AHAM, the “historic” agreement, which seeks legislation to implement the appliance-efficiency standards and tax credits, represents significant energy and water savings for U.S. consumers. The agreement, the Washington, DC-based association noted, would increase the efficiency of clothes washers, dishwashers, refrigerators and dehumidifiers by 11% to 48%.

“This agreement is significant not only for the tremendous energy and water savings, but also because it includes first-ever national minimum water efficiency standards for residential clothes washers and dishwashers,” AHAM said.
The agreement also provides for the U.S. Dept. of Energy to update these legislated and current standards by conducting new rulemakings for refrigerators, clothes washers and dishwashers, AHAM added.

DOE has said that when taking into account these additional rulemakings, the potential savings equal enough water to meet the needs of about 17 million people for one year and enough energy to meet the needs of about 70% of the U.S. population for one year.

The agreement also provides for manufacturer tax credits for the production of super-efficient residential refrigerators, clothes washers, dishwashers, dehumidifiers and commercial clothes washers. A similar appliance manufacturer’s tax credit was included in the 2005 Energy Policy Act.

“This innovative incentive is a recognized way to accelerate the production and market penetration of leading-edge appliance technologies that create significant environmental benefits,” AHAM said.

Congress has already moved to introduce legislation to execute the standards provisions in the agreement, which AHAM President Joseph McGuire hailed as “a major win for consumers and an example of how industry, advocacy groups and government can work together for market-transforming policies aimed at appliance efficiency.”

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