1st Energy Efficiency Standards for Ovens

First Energy Efficiency Standards for Ovens Proposed

The Department of Energy (DOE) has proposed the first energy efficiency performance standards for America's electric and gas ovens, to combat energy waste and utility spending. Previously, the only standard for ovens was a prohibition against a standing pilot light for gas ovens.

Money and Energy Savings

The new standards could decrease energy use by 3-12% for electric ovens and 11-33% for gas ovens. Over a 30 year period this could result in $4.7 to $11 billion in net consumer savings. To increase the energy efficiency during cooking there will be new standards for insulation to prevent the escape of heat. Gas ovens will use an electronic burner system and optimized burner and cavity design for increased energy efficiency. These standard could also lead to a 41 million metric ton drop in carbon emissions.

Idle Power Use Standards

The guidelines include only allowing 1 watt of power to be used during standby mode, which will be accomplished by using switch-mode power supplies, as used in laptops and other devices. A recent study by Pierre Delforge for the National Resources Defense Council shows that $19 billion worth of electricity a year is wasted by electronics and devices in so-called power-saving and standby modes. Preventing this "vampire" power use in ovens was one of the reasons for this first proposal for oven energy standards. More details can be found on the National Resource Defense Council's post by Elizabeth Noll and the Appliance Standards Awareness Project post by Joanna Mauer.

Public Participation

The DOE will be holding a public meeting on the proposed standards on Tuesday, July 14th, 2015 from 9 am to 4 pm in Washington DC, which can also be attended as a webinar. If the proposal is granted, the standards will go into effect three years later. For more detailed information on the meeting see the DOE's rulemaking page, and for the complete guidelines, see the complete proposal.