A new IEE white paper presents the findings of an IEE study that examined the potential electricity savings that could result from raising energy efficiency levels for new appliances, buildings and homes.
The federal government, states and stakeholder groups determine minimum efficiency levels for buildings, homes and energy-using appliances and equipment. As existing appliances are replaced with higher efficiency ones and new more efficient buildings replace older ones, less electricity is consumed.
“We found that the savings impact of building efficiency codes and appliance efficiency standards that are somewhat likely to occur is quite significant,” said Lisa Wood, IEE executive director. “A moderate tightening of appliance efficiency standards and new building energy codes could potentially lower overall electricity use by up to 9 percent, or approximately 350 terawatt-hours (TWh) by 2025. Most of this is achieved by higher appliance and equipment standards. Given that the 2011 AEO projects an increase of 364 TWh of electricity demand during this period, these savings would offset the anticipated growth in demand in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors combined.
Several of the analyzed efficiency changes are based upon the high-efficiency Energy Star products available in the mass market. The IEE study found that the largest savings will be in commercial and residential lighting, consumer electronics and industrial motors, accounting for slightly more than 50 percent of total savings.