A concern to both consumers and manufacturers when it comes to energy efficient appliances is that the extra expense of efficiency will be felt all around. However, a recently report by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and the Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP) shows the opposite. Since the institution of efficiency standards in the U.S., price increases have been lower than predicted and, in some cases, prices have actually gone down.
The report, entitled Appliance Standards: Appliance Standards: Comparing Predicted and Observed Prices, takes into account the price changes of nine product categories where efficiency standards have gone into effect since 1998. The product categories include:
- Clothes Washers (2002-2004)
- Clothes Washers (Revised Standard 2006-2008)
- Electric Water Heaters
- Non-Electric Water Heaters
- Central Air Conditioning – 3 tons
- Room Air Conditioners
- Commercial Air Conditioning – 15 tons
The report shows that overall prices have increased only 9% of Department of Energy (DOE) estimates. And in the cases of clothes washers, room air conditioners, commercial air conditioners, and ballasts, prices have gone down.
In light of this information, the DOE is taking a look at how their estimates are made and what might have caused such a gap. It could be that, with the need to make more efficient products, manufacturers have also developed better production methods in order to stay competitive and that these improvements have been reflected in pricing.
To download the entire report, visit the ACEEE website.