In that vein, the study supports the “carbon footprint labeling” provisions that were recently included in the Waxman-Markey climate change legislation, which would expand the existing Federal Trade Commission EnergyGuide labeling program for appliances to include carbon footprint information.
So why do we need this more expansive measurement for our appliances? The answer is so that we as consumers can be fully aware of the energy efficiency of the appliances we’re purchasing for our homes and businesses. For example, 70 percent of the total amount of fuels used in producing, generating and transmitting electricity is lost by the time that electricity reaches a customer. By contrast, producing and delivering natural gas directly only loses about 10 percent of its usable energy. The study issued by the Academies says consumers should be informed, ahead of time, of the full energy efficiency of their appliances. AGA agrees.
As a consumer, would it be helpful for you to know this kind of background information on appliances before you make a large purchase? Let us know what you think.