Efficient Wager Heater Standards Could Save Energy and Reduce Pollution and Climate Change
"This proposal captures significant and cost-effective energy savings from conventional water heater technologies, but it does little to advance new technologies which can provide much larger energy and economic savings," according to Steven Nadel, Executive Director, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.
DOE's analysis shows that the proposed
new standards can be met with modest changes such as adding more
insulation to today's conventional tank style water heaters.
The technology is here...where's the will?
But by failing to require even a partial transition to next-generation technologies - condensing gas water heaters and electric heat pump water heaters - the proposed standards leave huge potential energy savings on the table.
energy savings sometimes requires big changes in technology," said
Andrew deLaski, Executive Director, Appliance Standards Awareness
Project. "We're disappointed that the Obama Administration has shied
away from making even a modest first step to transition America to the
most efficient types of water heaters."
Proposed Water Heater Standards
estimates that the proposed standards would save 2.6 quads of energy
over 30 years (for comparison, a quad is enough energy to meet the
total needs of about 5 million typical U.S. households for one year).
Over the same period, consumers would save about $15.6 billion and
carbon dioxide emissions would be cut by 154 million metric tons.
But DOE concludes that such a
shift, which would require complete retooling by the water heater
industry and entail big increases in upfront costs for some consumers,
would be too disruptive. A middle ground standard would require the
use of the newer, more efficient advanced technologies for only water
heaters larger than 55 gallons, which represent 4 percent and 11
percent of the gas and electric water heater markets, respectively.
That middle ground standard would save 3.7 quads, save consumers $22 billion and reduce CO2 emissions by 217 million metric tons.
agree that it's too early to mandate next generation technologies for
the entire water heater market," said Nadel.
Next Generation: Condensing and heat pump technologies
and heat pump technologies are common in space heating but have only a
toehold so far in the water heater market.
About one-third of U.S.
furnace sales are of condensing products, and about 8 percent of U.S
homes are warmed with heat pumps.
Major water heater companies are working to bring condensing and heat pump technologies to the water heater market.
need to be able to buy the most efficient appliances that save them
money over the long run," according to Mel Hall-Crawford, Energy
Projects Director for the Consumer Federation of America.
The energy consuming characteristics of buildings will take on greater importance in determining their market value in the years ahead. It's really important for the department to issue a standard that gives consumers as much savings as possible on this product that plays such a large part in determining household energy bills and has such a long life span. The DOE needs to do better than the proposed rule."
"People don't usually think of the costs of taking a hot shower, but options already exist to save on energy and water," said Lane Burt, Manager of Building Energy Policy at the Natural Resources Defense Council. "Unfortunately, this proposed standard fails to maximize consumer savings.
Water heating is responsible for a fifth of all household energy use
"The proposed water heater standards pass up the chance to move technology forward," said Tim Ballo, attorney with Earthjustice. "Water heating is responsible for a fifth of all household energy use, and there are technologies available today that are vastly more efficient than the levels DOE proposed. We're sure that DOE can do better, and we'll be urging the department to reconsider these standards."
"With President Obama about to go to Copenhagen, one of the best ways to show American leadership would be for his administration to embrace new, energy-saving technologies that will create jobs and reduce CO2 emissions," said Callahan. "The United States could be the international leader in advanced water heater technology, and improved standards can help foster that transition."
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing energy efficiency as a means of promoting economic prosperity, energy security, and environmental protection. ACEEE was involved in the legislation establishing federal efficiency standards, and has been active in all rulemakings since then. www.aceee.org.
The Appliance Standards Awareness Project is dedicated to increasing awareness of and support for cost-effective appliance and equipment efficiency standards. See standardsASAP.org.
The Alliance to Save Energy is a coalition of prominent business, government, environmental and consumer leaders who promote the efficient and clean use of energy worldwide to benefit consumers, the environment, the economy and national security. www.ase.org
The Consumer Federation of America is a nonprofit association of over 280 pro-consumer groups founded in 1968 to advance consumers' interests through research, advocacy and education. www.cfa.org
Earthjustice is a non-profit public interest law firm dedicated to protecting the magnificent places, natural resources, and wildlife of this earth and to defending the right of all people to a healthy environment. www.earthjustice.org
The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national, nonprofit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. www.nrdc.org