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Four Decades of Appliance Energy Efficiency Standards: What has been Accomplished, and Where are We Headed Next?

Senate Energy Committee Hearing Room (SD-366)
Washington, DC
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The Department of Energy’s Appliance Efficiency Standards, dating back to 1979, currently cover products accounting for approximately 90% of home energy use and 60% of commercial building energy use. Although the program has had its challenges over the years, existing standards are expected to cumulatively save 70 quadrillion British thermal units (BTUs) of energy and lead to consumer savings approaching $1 trillion by 2020.

As “smart grid” technology, new utility business models, and other opportunities arise to enable appliances to communicate and interact with the grid, new opportunities and challenges for efficiency standards are likely to emerge. The Bipartisan Policy Center hosted a panel discussion to explore what efficiency standards have accomplished, what the future could bring, and what Congress should have in mind as it considers new energy legislation.


Keith Dennis
Senior Principal, End-Use Solutions and Standards National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA)

Robert McArver
Vice President of Policy and Government Relations, Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers

Steven Nadel
Executive Director, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

Richard Tempchin
Executive Director, Retail Energy Services, Edison Electric Institute

Moderated by:

David Garman
Principal and Managing Partner, Decker Garman Sullivan LLC
Former Under Secretary of Energy and Assistant Secretary of Energy in the George W. Bush Administration


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