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Report: Energy Efficiency Makes Appliances Less Expensive, Not More
Jan 2, 2014
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DOE overestimated the appliance price impact of efficiency standards, and usually by wide margin, in every case studied by a new report.

The report by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and the Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP) looked at nine appliance standards that took effect from 1998-2010. It found that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) overestimated the price impacts in every case, and usually missed the mark by a wide margin.

Across the nine rulemakings, DOE estimated an average increase of $148 in the manufacturer’s selling.

The report said the average change was, in fact, a $12 decrease in the manufacturer’s selling price.

Some of the price impacts comparisons in the report:

• 2001 Refrigerator standard: DOE estimated the price impact would be an increase of $56 per unit. The actual impact, according to U.S. Census data, was $37.
• 2004 Clothes Washers standard: DOE estimated the price impact would be an increase of $54 per unit. The ACEEE/ASAP report said the cost actually decreased by $35.
• 2006 Central Air-Conditioner (3-Ton) standard: DOE estimated the cost would go up $267 per unit. The actual increase was $207.
• 2007 Clothes Washers standard: DOE estimated the price impact would be an increase of $199 per unit. The ACEEE/ASAP report said the cost increased just $10.

Source: Appliance Standards: Comparing Predicted and Observed Prices; all prices are reported in 2011 dollars.

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