Appliance Efficiency Regulations (California)

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Last modified on February 12, 2015.

Rules Regulations Policies Program

Place California

Name Appliance Efficiency Regulations
Incentive Type Appliance/Equipment Efficiency Standards
Applicable Sector Manufacturer
Eligible Technologies See Summary
Active Incentive Yes

Implementing Sector State/Territory
Energy Category Energy Efficiency Incentive Programs

Certification Requirements Specified in standards

Equipment Requirements Product-specific requirements are outlined in the regulations

Review Not specified

Test Methods Product-specific requirements are outlined in the regulations

Date added to DSIRE 2006-06-01
Last DSIRE Review 2013-01-08
Last Substantive Modification
to Summary by DSIRE

References DSIRE[1]


Note: The federal government has imposed and updated appliance efficiency standards through several legislative acts,* and now has standards in place or under development for 30 classes of products. In general, states which had set standards prior to federal action may enforce their own standards until the federal standards take effect. States that had not set standards prior to federal action must use the federal standards. This summary addresses (1) state appliance standards that will be in place until the federal standards take effect and (2) products for which the federal government is not currently developing an efficiency standard. Much of the information in this summary comes from the Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP). Visit the ASAP web site for comprehensive information about appliance standards.

California’s 2009 Appliance Efficiency Regulations (California Code of Regulations, Title 20, Sections 1601 through1608) were adopted by the California Energy Commission (CEC) on December 3, 2008, and approved by the California Office of Administrative Law on July 10, 2009, replacing all previous versions of the regulations. The Regulations create standards for twenty-three categories of appliances, including standards for both federally-regulated and non-federally-regulated appliances. Of these products, the standards now apply to the following types of new products sold, offered for sale in California, except those sold wholesale in California for final retail sale outside the state and those designed and sold exclusively for use in recreational vehicles or other mobile equipment:

  1. Consumer audio and video products (2006/2007)
  2. Pool pumps (2006/2008/2010)
  3. General service incandescent light bulbs (2011)
  4. Portable lighting fixtures (2010)
  5. Water dispensers (2003)
  6. Hot tubs (portable electric spas) (2009)
  7. Commercial hot food holding cabinets (2006)
  8. Under cabinet fluorescent lamps (2006)
  9. Vending machines (2006)
  10. Wine Chillers (2003)
  11. Televisions (2011)
  12. Small battery chargers that are consumer products (for cell phones, personal care devices, and power tools) (2/1/2013)
  13. Large Industrial battery chargers and USB charger systems with a battery capacity of 20 Wh or more that are consumer products (1/1/2014)
  14. Small battery chargers that are not consumer products (for items such as walkie talkies and portable barcode scanners) (1/1/2017)

Dates listed above in parenthesis signify the standard’s effective date. Where more than one date is shown, the standard has more than one level or components which become effective on different dates. See regulations for specific types of appliances covered under these categories. Product-specific testing, certification, and labeling requirements are outlined in the regulations. The CEC is currently in the process of developing regulations for battery chargers.

California was the first state to initiate appliance efficiency standards in 1974 with the adoption of the Warren-Alquist Act, which instructed the CEC to promulgate efficiency standards. California has continued to upgrade its standards to remain consistent with new technologies. Most state standards programs have used California’s covered products, or a subset of these products, and its technical procedures as the basis for their efforts. California continues to lead the nation by being the first state to develop efficiency standards for certain televisions.

* These acts include the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act of 1987, the Energy Policy Act of 1992, the Energy Policy Act of 2005, and the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

Incentive Contact

Contact Name Appliance Efficiency Program
Department California Energy Commission

Address 1516 Ninth Street, MS-25

Place Sacramento, California
Zip/Postal Code 95814-5512
Phone (916) 654-4147


Authorities (Please contact the if there are any file problems.)

Authority 1: Appliance Efficiency Regulations
Date Effective 2011-01-01
Date Enacted 2010-12-08

Authority 2: CA Public Resources Code § 25400, et seq.

  • Incentive and policy data are reviewed and approved by the N.C. Solar Center's DSIRE project staff.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1  "Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE)"