New dehumidifier standards will help dry up excess energy use
Posted by Joanna Mauer on May 23, 2016

On Friday, the US Department of Energy (DOE) finalized new efficiency standards for dehumidifiers. In addition to reducing the power consumption of a major energy hog, the new standards will also ensure that dehumidifiers perform efficiently in the basements where they are most commonly used.

About 13% of US homes and 25% of homes in the Northeast and Midwest (where basements are common) use a dehumidifier. Dehumidifiers just meeting the current standards can consume as much...

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DOE locks in California efficiency levels for rechargeable devices
Posted by Chris Granda on May 09, 2016

From smart phones to toothbrushes to power tools, rechargeable batteries let us go cordless. But rechargeable batteries must be recharged, and those chargers can waste a lot of electricity.

DOE's new energy efficiency standards for battery chargers, published last Friday, are similar to strong state standards adopted in California in 2012 and, subsequently, in Oregon. Back in 2012, DOE had initially proposed weaker federal standards, but...

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Proposed standard for portable ACs falls short
Posted by Joanna Mauer on April 28, 2016

Yesterday, the US Department of Energy (DOE) proposed what would be the first-ever efficiency standards for portable air conditioners (ACs). While the new standards would be a significant step forward for portable ACs, higher efficiency levels could more than double the savings.

Preliminary DOE estimates indicate that about one million portable ACs are sold each year. Consumer Reports has referred to portable ACs as “...

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DOE dishes up major efficiency increase for restaurant and other commercial water heaters
Posted by Chris Granda on April 19, 2016

Businesses in the restaurant, food processing, institutional and hospitality sectors all need large amounts of hot water to keep their plates clean and their customers happy. Nearly one-fifth of the natural gas consumed by buildings operated by the food service industry goes toward heating hot water[1].

Commercial water heaters serve a wide range of potable hot water needs for many kinds of businesses. An office building might have small tanks to provide hot water for hand washing in bathrooms, while a large restaurant...

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deLaski Washington Post op-ed: The U.S. made the right call on lightbulbs
Posted by Andrew deLaski on April 11, 2016
Remember the hue and cry about how the federal government was going to force consumers to switch from the incandescent lightbulbs we’ve used since the days of Thomas Edison to those curlicue compact fluorescent ones?
Now, just a few years later, there has been almost no political sniping as the Energy Department has proposed a lighting standard that would move the United States to a record achievement in energy efficiency.
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Commercial building owners would see savings with new DOE proposal, but stronger standards would save more
Posted by Joanna Mauer on March 14, 2016

On Friday, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) proposed new efficiency standards for commercial boilers, which are commonly used to heat schools, offices, apartments, and hospitals, among other building types. The new standards would reduce commercial boiler energy consumption by about 2-6% relative to the current standards. However, national energy savings would more than double if DOE adopted stronger standards for the most common equipment.

About one-quarter of...

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Wall warts, power bricks, and little black boxes are about to become more energy efficient
Posted by Marianne DiMascio on February 02, 2016

crowded power stripAs of this month, the little black boxes attached to many small electronic devices will cost less to run due to Department of Energy (DOE) standards that will reduce the amount of energy they waste. Though the energy use per unit is small, the combined energy use from the more than 1 BILLION external power supplies (EPSs) in use in the United States adds up. And the number of black boxes keeps growing—DOE estimates that about 340 million...

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