The Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP) and the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) released a new report highlighting the opportunities for saving billions of dollars and huge amounts of energy through updated federal appliance standards.

The full report can be found here, executive summary here, and a press release is here.

Add this to the growing list of studies pointing to energy efficiency as our fastest, cleanest, and cheapest energy resource, including the recent McKinsey study that found $1.2 trillion in potential savings. This report makes the important point that appliance standards, while often ignored or downplayed, have a tremendous contribution to make as we move toward a clean energy economy and economic recovery. I try not to trot out savings estimates to make a point, but these numbers are so big that they speak for themselves.

  • Over 1,900 terawatt-hours saved by 2030, or roughly enough power to meet the total electricity needs of every American household for 18 months.
  • About 65,000 megawatts of peak demand savings in 2030, or around 6 percent of total U.S. generating capacity projected for 2030.
  • About $123 billion in net present value benefits from products purchased through 2030.
  • 158 million metric tons of carbon dioxide avoided in 2030, or 2.6 percent of total U.S. projected emissions in that year — equivalent to taking 30 million cars off the road.
  • Existing standards have saved every household $2,800 dollars and standards set in the next few years will save an additional $1,100. Not much to say except thank you.
  • For a nice state by state breakdown of benefits, go here.

This is not surprising news.  We have known for a long time that federal appliance standards save energy, cut emissions, and return money to taxpayers. We have also seen well crafted standards spur innovation within industries. The really interesting point is that 22 years after the birth of the federal standards program, billions in potential savings are still available.

It’s also worth pointing out that half the savings come from fluorescent lights, water heaters, home furnaces, furnace fans, and refrigerators. Many of these have been through several rounds of standards in the past, so clearly manufacturers are innovating and the well has not run dry.

The report also provides recommendations for accelerating certain rulemakings because of the large energy savings available. This is consistent with President Obama’s instructions to DOE earlier this year and would move us towards banking those savings sooner than later.

ASAP’s newsletter and website are great resources for staying in the loop on all things related to state and federal standards.