Refrigerators carrying the federal government's Energy Star® energy efficiency label are going to have to be more efficient in the future.
The U.S. Department of Energy, DOE, announced Friday that in order to qualify for the label now, full-size refrigerators must be a minimum of 20 percent more efficient than current standards, an increase from the existing 15 percent minimum.
The new criteria, drafted with input from stakeholders and two rounds of public comments, will go into effect on April 28, 2008. Freezers and compact refrigerators are not included in these new criteria.
As a result, the DOE estimates families will save up to $23.5 million annually on their electric bills, and over 230 million kilowatt hours of energy - enough to light every household in Washington, DC, for more than five months.
Current Energy Star qualified refrigerators use 65 percent less energy than refrigerator models in 1980.
Energy Star is a joint DOE-EPA program, formed in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership that seeks to reduce air pollution through increased energy efficiency.