Potential Impact of Adopting Maximum Technologies as Minimum Efficiency Performance Standards in the U.S. Residential Sector
The US Department of Energy (US DOE) has placed lighting and appliance standards at a very high priority of the U.S. energy policy. However, the maximum energy savings and CO2 emissions reduction achievable via minimum efficiency performance standards (MEPS) has not yet been fully characterized.
The Bottom Up Energy Analysis System (BUENAS), first developed in 2007, is a global, generic, and modular tool designed to provide policy makers with estimates of potential impacts resulting from MEPS for a variety of products, at the international and/or regional level.
Using the BUENAS framework, we estimated potential national energy savings and CO2 emissions mitigation in the US residential sector that would result from the most aggressive policy foreseeable: standards effective in 2014 set at the current maximum technology (Max Tech) available on the market. This represents the most likely characterization of what can be maximally achieved through MEPS in the US.
The authors rely on the latest Technical Support Documents and Analytical Tools published by the U.S. Department of Energy as a source to determine appliance stock turnover and projected efficiency scenarios of what would occur in the absence of policy.
In our analysis, national impacts are determined for the following end uses: lighting, television, refrigerator-freezers, central air conditioning, room air conditioning, residential furnaces, and water heating. The analyzed end uses cover approximately 65% of site energy consumption in the residential sector (50% of the electricity consumption and 80% of the natural gas and LPG consumption).
This paper uses this BUENAS methodology to calculate that energy savings from Max Tech for the U.S. residential sector products covered in this paper will reach an 18% reduction in electricity demand compared to the base case and 11% in Natural Gas and LPG consumption by 2030 The methodology results in reductions in CO2 emissions of a similar magnitude.