American Chemistry MattersA Blog of the American Chemistry Council

American Chemistry Matters

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Chemistry, efficiency and high performance products go hand-in-hand

Energy-efficient appliances can help Americans save energy and reduce utility bills without sacrificing on performance, according to a new report by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and the Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP).

Energy-sipping refrigerators, clothes washers and dryers, dishwashers, air conditioners, heat pumps and light bulbs are performing at least as well if not better than their older, energy-hogging counterparts, the report claims. And the newer versions tend to offer additional features for the same or a lower price than previous models.

Commenting on the report, Steven Nadel, ACEEE executive director, said:

[quote]Everyone knows that replacing your old appliance with a new, more efficient model will save you money on your utility bills. What this report shows is that consumers haven’t had to sacrifice good performance or new features in exchange for improved efficiency.[/quote]

ACEEE and ASAP analyzed changes in 10 residential and commercial products, before and after each national efficiency standard was implemented. The report found that product performance generally stayed the same or improved as efficiency standards took effect.

For example, refrigerator temperature improved and noise levels dropped. Dishwashers now use substantially less energy and water while cleaning effectively. And more efficient light bulbs provide the same output and color quality as less efficient ones.

High performance, energy-efficient technologies are all around us and are made possible by chemistry — from cars and trucks made with lightweight components, energy-efficient engines and fuels, to energy-efficient buildings with state-of-the-art features and amenities.

The same goes for many appliances. Chemistry enables compact fluorescent bulbs to “fluoresce” and to use 70 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs. LED lighting could cut global energy demand by a whopping 30 percent.

And replacing an old refrigerator with a new ENERGY STAR-qualified model—with improved insulation and coolant systems made possible by chemistry—saves enough energy to light an average house for nearly four months.

Learn more about how chemistry drives energy efficiency.

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