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DOE Proposes New Heat Pump Energy Efficiency Standards

DOE Proposes New Heat Pump Energy Efficiency Standards

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has proposed new energy efficiency standards estimated to save consumers $11.4 billion on their energy and water bills every year. The Congressionally-mandated proposed standards for residential water heaters align with recommendations from stakeholders, including two of the largest water heater manufacturers and consumer advocacy groups. The proposal would require the most common-sized electric water heaters to achieve efficiency gains with heat pump technology and gas-fired instantaneous water heaters to achieve efficiency gains through condensing technology.

The new standards are estimated by DOE to save Americans approximately $198 billion and reduce 501 million metric tons of harmful carbon dioxide emissions cumulatively over 30 years—roughly equivalent to the combined annual emissions of 63 million homes, or approximately 50% of homes in the United States. Water heating is responsible for roughly 13% of both annual residential energy use and consumer utility costs. DOE last updated residential water heater efficiency standards, which are required by Congress, in 2010.
If adopted within DOE’s proposed timeframe, the new rule—which builds on consensus-based recommendations from a wide range of stakeholders—would apply to new water heater models starting in 2029. For more information, visit the DOE’s Appliance and Equipment Standards Program.

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