Starting in February 1, 2012, furnaces will be able to display Energy Star seals appropriate to their particular climate zones. Furnaces that meet new requirements for the southern half of the U.S. will be labeled with a specific U.S. South Energy Star mark. These units will be up to 12 percent more energy efficient than baseline units, the EPA says.
Qualified furnaces in the northern half of the U.S. and in Canada will bear the standard Energy Star logo and will be up to 16 percent more energy efficient than baseline models, the agency says. These changes will make home furnaces as a whole up to five percent more efficient than is currently required by the Energy Star program, the EPA adds.
In addition, effective January 20, 2012, both standard-sized and compact residential dishwashers will need to be between ten and 30 percent more energy efficient than conventional models, to earn the Energy Star label. That will make future Energy Star models about eight percent more efficient than Energy Star dishwashers today, the agency said.
The EPA says that if every dishwasher in the U.S. met the new requirements, consumer energy and water bill savings would grow to approximately $235 million per year. It says that if every gas furnace sold in the U.S. were to meet the new Energy Star requirements for those products, the savings would grow to more than $170 million per year.