A new Energy Department efficiency standard is helping President Obama to live up to his emissions reduction pledge at COP21 and make fighting climate change the priority issue for the remainder of his term. The amended energy conservation standards, developed in consort with industry, labour groups and environmentalists, are the most robust rules to date from the DoE. The new standards apply to heating and cooling which are responsible for more than ten percent of all the commercial space energy.
The new rules for commercial air conditioners and furnaces will translate into $167 billion in saved costs for businesses and 15 quadrillion (quads) British thermal units (BTUs). Perhaps most importantly the standard will prevent almost a gigatons (885 million tons) of carbon dioxide from being emitted into the atmosphere.
“These standards are a game-changer for the commercial sector,” said Steve Nadel, executive director of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. “Industry and advocates worked closely together to help produce the biggest energy savings standards in US history. These new standards will bring down the cost of doing business and improve bottom lines by letting companies invest money they used to spend on heating and cooling. This will in turn stimulate the economy, create jobs, and bring us closer to the finish line of the president’s climate goals for appliance standards.”
The Obama administration has launched standards for more than 40 products since taking office. Together these efforts will prevent more than two gigatons of greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2030.
“We think we’re on track to get to, or very close to, 3 gigatons of C02 cumulative up to 2030,” said DoE secretary Ernest Moniz, adding that after 2030 we will see even bigger savings.