WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has revised its Energy Star requirements for residential refrigerators and freezers. The updated requirements call for increased energy efficiency in these products and encourages manufacturers of Energy Star appliances to include optional connected features, which would offer consumers more ways to reduce energy consumption of the products.
Under the new standards, Energy Star-certified refrigerators and freezers will use at least 10 percent less energy than models meeting 2014 federal minimum-efficiency standards. If all refrigerators and freezers sold in the U.S. were to meet the updated requirements, energy cost savings would grow to more than $890 million each year and reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of those from more than 1 million vehicles.
Certain Energy Star refrigerators and freezers with connected features will provide consumers new convenience and energy-saving opportunities. These products will allow consumers to view real-time energy use, receive energy-related messages, such as an alert when the door has been left open, and manage appliance settings remotely. Refrigerators and freezers with connected functionality will also be smart grid-ready, meaning that with consumer permission, they will be able to respond to utility signals, including curtailing operations during more expensive peak-demand times.
To earn the Energy Star label, product performance must be certified by an EPA-recognized third party, based on testing in an EPA-recognized laboratory. The updated Energy Star refrigerator and freezer specification will go into effect on Sept. 15, 2014.
Publication date: 8/12/2013