Energy Efficiency, Executive Insight, Smart Grid

EPA to increase energy efficiency for refrigerators, freezers

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has revised its Energy Star requirements for residential refrigerators and freezers. The updated requirements raise the bar for energy efficiency in these products and encourage manufacturers of Energy Star appliances to include optional “connected” features.

These features would offer consumers more ways to reduce the energy consumption of their refrigerators and freezers, help lower their utility bills, and better protect the environment and the climate.

Under the new standards, Energy Star certified refrigerators and freezers will use at least 10 percent less energy than models meeting 2014 federal minimum energy 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 one million vehicles.

Additionally, by recycling an old refrigerator and replacing it with a new Energy Star certified refrigerator, consumers can save from $150–$1,100 on energy costs over the product’s lifetime.

Certain Energy Star refrigerators and freezers with connected features will provide consumers new convenience and energy-saving opportunities. These smart appliances 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 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.