DOE proposing air conditioner standards

The Department of Energy (DOE) is proposing new efficiency rules for portable air conditioners that are expected to save consumers billions of dollars on their energy bills.

The department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy submitted the proposed rules to the White House this week for approval.


The White House’s Office of Management and Budget will have 90 days to review the proposal and make changes it deems necessary. The public will then have a chance to comment on the rules before they are finalized.

This is the latest in a long list of energy conservation standards for household appliances from the Obama administration. But the air conditioner rules could outpace many of the other standards.

The DOE listed the efficiency standards for air conditioners as an “economically significant” rule, which means it is expected to have an impact on the economy of $100 million or more each year.

The air conditioner efficiency standards will likely cost manufacturers millions to comply with, but save consumers even more money.

The Energy Department is expected to wrap up the rule-making process by the end of the year — and before the president leaves office in January 2017.

According to a list of White House rule-making priorities, the air conditioner rules are behind schedule. They were supposed to be released in December 2015, with a final rule coming in July 2016. The timeline may get pushed back by a few months, depending on how long it takes the OMB to review the rules.