In the wake of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) announcement in April to set higher standards for commercial refrigerators and freezers to gain Energy Star certification, appliance makers and their suppliers are starting to introduce higher efficiency products. The Department of Energy is also expected to set tougher energy-efficient standards for home appliances by 2011.
As an example, American Dryer Corporation (ADC) says its new line of EcoSmart dryers are up to 30 percent more energy efficient while drying, compared to competitive laundry dryers. The company says in some applications using an energy-efficient dryer can assist in earning LEED green-building credits while lowering utility bills.
Drying in the same time as competitive dryers, The EcoSmart dryers feature a double-paned door glass, 100-percent axial airflow, and other state-of-the-art design features that help deliver up to a 30 percent savings in energy consumption and costs, says the company.
On the supply side, LG Electronics claims its third-generation, environmentally-friendly linear compressor is the world’s most energy efficient fridge technology, reports Chosun.com. The device compresses refrigerant gas to generate power, and is a key component in a refrigerator’s bill of materials.
The new compressor uses 35.9 Kwh of power, 3.6 Kwh less than the company’s second-generation model. Because a compressor accounts for about 80 percent of a refrigerator’s total energy consumption, it is considered an essential component when developing a green refrigerator, reports Chosun.com. LG plans to supply compressors to other competitors, increasing its output 10-fold by 2015.
Saving energy in a different way for consumer applications, GE Consumer & Industrial recently announced plans to introduce a suite of “smart” appliances to help shift some of the energy load from peak hours to other parts of the day to reduce the need to build new power plants.
So how important is saving energy for consumers? A recent survey by Whirlpool Corp. revealed that 84 percent of consumers said energy is most important to them when it comes to home appliance efficiency.
Case in point: A free appliance replacement program in Kansas, which allows income-eligible homeowners and renters to replace old, energy-hungry and unsafe appliances with new, energy-efficient models, has run out of funding, reports The Wichita Eagle. The newspaper says more than 1,300 people have applied for the state program to reduce energy consumption, committing all $4 million slated for the program.