The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced in July that it is updating its ENERGY STAR requirements for home dishwashers and furnaces beginning in 2012, a move that will help consumers who purchase new models save money off monthly utility bills.
After January 20, 2012, newly-certified standard-size and compact residential dishwashers that meet the updated ENERGY STAR requirements will be between 10 percent and 30 percent more energy efficient than conventional models and about 8 percent more energy efficient than models awarded the previous ENERGY STAR certification.
After February 1, 2012, newly-certified furnaces that meet the updated ENERGY STAR requirements will be categorized and labeled based on the particular climate zone in which they’ll be sold.
Furnaces that meet the new requirements in the southern half of the United States will be provided with a specific “U.S. South ENERGY STAR” label. These furnaces will be up to 12 percent more energy efficient than baseline models.
Furnaces that meet the new requirements in the northern half of the United States and Canada will be provided with the standard ENERGY STAR label. These furnaces will be up to 16 percent more energy efficient than baseline models.
According to a statement by the EPA, if every dishwasher in the United States met the new requirements, consumers would save $235 million a year off energy and water bills and reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions equal to those from 180,000 vehicles. Likewise, if every U.S. furnace met the new requirements, consumers would save $170,000 a year off energy bills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 175,000 vehicles.
The EPA said that the new requirements for home dishwashers and furnaces are among 20 updates to product certification requirements scheduled to be completed this year.
“EPA Announces New ENERGY STAR Requirements for Dishwashers and Furnaces,” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency press release, July 19, 2011.