Federal Appliance Standards (Federal)

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Last modified on February 12, 2015.

Rules Regulations Policies Program

Place United States

Name Federal Appliance Standards
Incentive Type Appliance/Equipment Efficiency Standards
Applicable Sector Industrial, (Product Manufacturers)
Eligible Technologies Boilers, Ceiling Fan, Central Air conditioners, Dehumidifiers, Dishwasher, Furnaces, Heat pumps, Lighting, Motors, Refrigerators, Water Heaters, Exit and traffic signs, unit heaters, transformers, others
Active Incentive Yes

Implementing Sector Federal
Energy Category Energy Efficiency Incentive Programs

Equipment Requirements Specified in Code of Federal Regulations

Implementing Agency U.S. Department of Energy

Test Methods Varies

Website http://www.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards
Date added to DSIRE 2006-06-30
Last DSIRE Review 2012-12-19
Last Substantive Modification
to Summary by DSIRE

References DSIRE[1]


Note: HR 6582 of 2012 made some modifications to the efficiency standards previously adopted for some appliance types. The bill did not adopt new standards for previously unregulated appliances, but made some minor changes to the requirements for walk-in coolers, walk-in freezers, water heaters, self-contained medium temperature commercial refrigerators, central air conditioners, and heat pumps. The bill also included some non-substantive technical corrections.

Minimum standards of energy efficiency for many major appliances were established by the U.S. Congress in the federal Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) of 1975, and have been subsequently amended by succeeding energy legislation, including the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is required to set appliance efficiency standards at levels that achieve the maximum improvement in energy efficiency that is technologically feasible and economically justified. The DOE web site lists updates and final rulings for 23 residential product categories and 18 commercial product categories.

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA), established new standards for a few equipment types not already subjected to a standard, and updated some existing standards. Perhaps the most discussed new standard that EISA 2007 established is for general service lighting which will be deployed in two phases. First, by 2012-2014 (phasing in over several years), common light bulbs will be required to use about 20-30% less energy than present incandescent bulbs. Second, by 2020, light bulbs must consume 60% less energy than today's bulbs. This requirement will effectively phase out the incandescent light bulb.

The president issued a Memorandum for the Secretary of Energy in February of 2009 requesting the DOE take all necessary steps to finalize outstanding efficiency standards as expeditiously as possible. Such standards include those with deadlines prior to and including August 8, 2009. The memorandum also calls on the DOE to prioritize the development of efficiency standards for the remaining product categories based on energy savings. Standards that will result in the greatest energy savings should be developed first, however, the DOE must ensure that it meets applicable deadlines for all standards.

Note: Several states have adopted their own appliance standards. Under the general rules of federal preemption, states which had set standards prior to federal enactment may enforce their state standards up until the federal standards become effective. States that have not set standards for a product category that is now enforced by the federal government are subject to the federal standard immediately.

Incentive Contact

Contact Name Public Information - DOE
Department U.S. Department of Energy
Division Office of Building Technology Assistance
Address 1000 Independence Avenue, EE-42

Place Washington, District of Columbia
Zip/Postal Code 20585
Phone (877) 337-3463

Website http://www.eere.energy.gov/buildings

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

Authority 1: 42 USCS § 6291, et seq.

Authority 2: 10 CFR 430

Authority 3: 10 CFR 431

Authority 4: HR 6582

Date Enacted 2012-12-18

  • 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)"