Buildings for the 21st Century Newsletter, Fall 2000 Page: 2 of 4
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ENERGY STAR Clothes
Washers Offer Choices
Competition is heating up in the market for
super-efficient clothes washers carrying the ENERGY
STAR label, and consumers are the winners.
Sears, the ENERGY STAR Retail Partner of the Year
for 1999, recently unveiled its new Kenmore
clothes washer in New York City and Des Moines,
Iowa. And Maytag's front-loading Neptune wash-
er is impressing consumers in a DOE demonstra-
tion in Massachusetts.
"Through one simple action-purchasing an
energy efficient appliance-American consumers
can take another positive step forward in our
joint efforts to protect the environment, cut ener-
gy costs and help reduce pollution," commented
Secretary Bill Richardson when he named Sears
the ENERGY STAR
Retail Partner of the
Year. Sears sold
more than 750,000- -
the ENERGY STAR label
in 1999. The new
Kenmore Elite wash-
er promises to help
the company carry'
out its pledge to sell
more than one mil-
lion energy efficient
appliances in 2000.
The Kenmore Elite
tured by Whirlpool,
design with a new
The new Kenmore Elite washing machine
to lift and bounce clothes through a wa
the clothes, and saving energy and wat
approach to wash-
ing action that exceeds ENERGY STAR criteria for
saving energy and water. Rather than immersing
laundry in a bath of water and churning it with
a central agitator, the new Calypso Wash Motion
technology uses a wash plate to lift and bounce
clothes through a waterfall of soapy water.
Eliminating the agitator leaves more room for
clothes and the waterfall design flushes dirt and
particles from the clothes, which never sit in dirty
wash water. This new approach is gentle and
effective, and requires about half the water of a
traditional washer. The new machine can reduce
energy use by 65 percent, saving the typical family
about $100 per year, according to tests.
Tests of Maytag's ENERGY STAR-labeled Neptune
front-loading washer are designed to show
consumers in a Boston suburb how the machines
use 40 percent less water and 65 percent less
energy than conventional top-loading washers.
"Boston experiences serious water quality and
scarcity issues, which result in some of the highest
[water] rates in the nation," said John Tomlinson,
the residential program manager at Oak Ridge
National Laboratory, who manages the con-
sumer tests for DOE. After several months
of measuring the baseline energy and water
use of their own machines, the 66 residents
at the Summit Terrace condominiums in
Reading, Mass., received new ENERGY STAR-
washers and dryers.
Researchers from the
E have been monitoring
Y energy and water
demands since the
. new machines were
- installed. Final results
- will be reported
ne uses this wash plate According to Maytag,
waterfall, flushing dirt from the Neptune washer
er. has conserved 4.9 bil-
lion gallons of water and
429 kilowatts of electricity since its introduction in
1997. Those savings represent a lifetime supply of
drinking water for 700,000 people and enough
power to light 1.3 million homes for one year.
The Neptune also reduces drying time by extract-
ing up to 30 percent more water during the spin
cycle. Overall, the Neptune washer can save an
average family nearly $100 a year on utility bills.
Maryland Residents Get ENERGY STAR Tax Break
On June 29, Maryland residents gathered in
Bethesda to celebrate Maryland's new Clean
Energy Incentive Act. "Maryland's law sets an
energy efficiency trend for other states and the
federal government to follow," said Secretary Bill
Governor Parris Glendening pointed out that
the Clean Energy Incentives Act "provides signifi-
cant tax breaks for Marylanders who make a
conscious choice to buy the most energy-efficient
appliances, cars and other products
on the market." This message was
echoed by speakers from DOE,
the Maryland Legislature, and the
Natural Resources Defense Council.
Also attending the celebration
were representatives from BP
Solarex, Honda Motor Corp.,
the Maryland Energy Office, the
Maryland Public Interest Research
Group, Sears Roebuck and Co.,
the Sierra Club and Toyota Corp.
Although nine other states have
enacted tax incentives for the pur-
chase of energy efficient products,
Maryland is the first to single out
ENERGY STAR-labeled appliances
and exempt them from state sales
tax. The tax break began for
ENERGY STAR-labeled clothes washers
on July 1. Tax exemptions for ENERGY STAR room
air conditioners and refrigerators will be available
Jan. 1, 2001, and July 1, 2001, respectively, after
updated standards are adopted. (For more on the
standards process, see "Standards Save Energy"
on this page.)
For more information on the Clean Energy
Incentives Program, visit the Maryland Energy
Administration Web site at
www.energy.state. md. us/.
Assistant Secretary Dan Reicher presents an ENERGY STAR shirt to Maryland
Governor Parris Glendening at an event celebrating Maryland's new Clean
Energy Incentive Act.
Standards Save Energy
Millions of energy-efficient refrigerators,
water heaters, air conditioners and dish-
washers are saving 390 trillion Btu of energy
each year, thanks to DOE's Appliance
Efficiency Program. In 1987, Congress
passed a law that mandated national energy
efficiency standards for most major house-
hold appliances. As a result, DOE's Appliance
Efficiency Program issued standards that
went into effect between 1988 and 1993.
Since then, the energy saved is equivalent
to the output of about seven 500-MW
coal-fired power plants.
Since implementation of the original stan-
dards, DOE, as instructed by Congress, has
reviewed and amended the national energy
efficiency standards to reflect the highest
efficiency levels that are "technically feasible
and economically justified" for household
appliances. Appliance manufacturers, energy
efficiency and environmental advocates,
electric utilities and state governments par-
ticipate in the standards review, a public
rule-making process. This process has evolved
from a battleground to the give-and-take of
a negotiating session. Participants all have
different ideas as to what efficiency levels are
technically feasible and economically justified.
When all parties agree to negotiated stan-
dards, the rules tend to be more effective.
Over the years, DOE has conducted reviews
and raised the standard efficiency levels for
refrigerators, freezers, clothes washers,
clothes dryers and dishwashers. Some stan-
dards have had a greater impact on energy
use than others, but they all add up. The mil-
lions of appliances sold that operate at these
higher efficiency levels save an additional
250 trillion Btu of energy each year, freeing
up the equivalent of about six 500-MW coal-
fired power plants.
One of the most significant standards is the
required Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio for
central air conditioners. This rating, similar
to the miles per gallon rating for vehicles,
results in appliances that more than com-
pensate owners for the higher purchase
price through savings on their electric bills.
DOE's Appliance Efficiency Program contin-
ues to set higher efficiency levels appropri-
ate to improving technologies. For example,
higher efficiency standards for room air
conditioners will go into effect this fall.
Another negotiated standard to increase
efficiency levels for refrigerators is set to
go into effect in 2001. Higher efficiency
standards for fluorescent lamp ballasts and
clothes washers have been agreed to, and
new standards are being negotiated for
central air conditioners and water heaters.
For more information on standards,
visit the BTS Web site at
DOE Appliance Efficiency Standards
for Household Products
Central air conditioners
Fluorescent lamp ballasts
Furnaces and boilers
Refrigerators and freezers
Room air conditioners
Unvented home heating equipment
Vented home heating equipment
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Tromly, K. Buildings for the 21st Century Newsletter, Fall 2000, periodical, October 19, 2000; Golden, Colorado. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc724087/m1/2/: accessed February 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.