Setting the Record Straight on Appliance Efficiency Standards

How many of you have heard claims that sounded something like these: “Appliance efficiency standards stand in the way of product innovation. Energy efficient appliances simply don’t work as well.  Standards drive up the prices for appliances.” Each claim above, and many more, has been voiced repeatedly by challengers of appliance efficiency standards.  Without the data and analysis to refute these claims, misinformation about appliance standards has continued to propagate. At long last, we have a more definitive picture of how efficiency standards actually impact appliance prices, performance and features.  The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and the Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP) released a new report on May 21, 2013 entitled Better Appliances: An Analysis of Performance, Features and Price as Efficiency has Improved.  Long believed to be the case by efficiency advocates, but never officially documented, the report analyzes over twenty years of historical data for ten different products categories.  The report concludes that appliance performance has on par improved, products prices have most often dropped, and new features have been regularly added, all while minimum efficiency standards for the particular products have steadily increased. Stakeholders from across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region have a long history of advocating for the adoption of strong minimum efficiency standards at both the state and/or federal level.  This report serves as an important resource to push back against the common arguments against such efficiency standards. So what’s the bottom line this report is trying to convey? The truth of the matter is appliance efficiency standards and innovation do not conflict. In fact, they walk hand in hand towards enhanced appliance performance, increased features, and the same or lower prices for all to enjoy. To read more about the report and how efficiency advocates are reacting to its publication, see ASAP’s press release.  NEEP applauds ASAP and ACEEE for the tremendous amount of work that was put into the development of the report.

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