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Energy Department Announces More Stringent Criteria for ENERGY STAR® Refrigerators

August 3, 2007 - 2:55pm

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WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced increased energy efficient criteria for refrigerators carrying the ENERGY STAR® label.  In order to qualify, full-size refrigerators must be a minimum of 20 percent more efficient than current federal energy efficiency 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.

"The ENERGY STAR® program provides consumers with greater options for purchasing energy efficient products to save money and energy," DOE Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Alexander Karsner said.  "More stringent ENERGY STAR® criteria for refrigerators means more consumers can make smart energy choices and help further the Nation's goal of increasing efficiency, resulting in real and significant energy savings."

According to first-year annual projected sales data after April 28, 2008, 2.2 million ENERGY STAR®-qualified refrigerators will be sold, saving American families 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.  It is estimated that any increase in product price for an ENERGY STAR®-qualified refrigerator would be offset within 3-5 years from the time of purchase by reduced electricity bills over 3-5 years from the time of purchase.  Freezers and compact refrigerators are not included in these new criteria.  ENERGY STAR® criteria for refrigerators were last changed in January 2004.

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.   DOE and EPA work to offer businesses and consumers energy-efficient solutions to save energy and money, while also helping to protect our environment.  More than 9,000 organizations have joined ENERGY STAR® as partners committed to improving the energy efficiency of products, homes and businesses.

The ENERGY STAR® label appears on more than 40 kinds of consumer products.  To learn more about ENERGY STAR®, and to view the revised program requirements, visit the ENERGY STAR® website or call 1-888-STAR-YES.

Media contact(s):

Julie Ruggiero, (202) 586-4940

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