Appliance Efficiency Standards in Detail

Beginning with the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act of 1987, several pieces of federal legislation have established mandatory energy efficiency standards for various residential and commercial appliances. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is tasked with reviewing and periodically revising the standards to ensure that they adapt to recent technological developments.

States have the right to implement their own appliance efficiency standards up to the time that a federal standard becomes effective, at which point state standards are preempted by federal ones. If a state desires to maintain a more stringent standard after a federal standard has become effective, it may petition the DOE for a waiver allowing it to do so. In some cases, states are allowed to enforce their own standard for a particular appliance if a certain period of time has passed since the federal appliance standard was revised by the DOE.

The table below details existing state energy appliance standards, including those that have been or will be preempted by federal appliance standards.

Appliance StandardYear Initial Federal Standard EstablishedEffective Date for Most Recent Federal StandardAZCACTDCFLMAMDMNNHNJNVNYORRIVTWA
 Boilers20122012     O       OO 
 Clothes Washers19872011 W              
 Commercial Air Conditioners 1992  2010PPP   O*  P P P  
 Commercial Clothes Washers2005  2007PPP   P  P  PP P
 Commercial Ice Makers2005 2010OO         OOO O
 Compact Audio ProductsNone  None O         OO   
 Distribution Transformers (low voltage)2005 2007PPP  PPP P PPP P
 Distribution Transformers (medium voltage)1992  2010     O        O 
 Distribution Transformers (liquid immersed)1992 2010     O          
 DVD Players and RecordersNone  None O         OO   
 Furnaces 1987 2015     WW P    WW 
 Furnace Fans 2005 None     O  P    OO 
 Hot Food Holding Cabinets None None OOO  O O   OO  
 Hot Tubs  None None OO         O   
 Ice Cream Freezer  2005 None O              
 Illuminated Exit Signs 2005 2006PPP   P  P PPP P
 Incandescent Lightbulbs  1992 2012 O        O     
 Incandescent Reflector Lamp 2007 2008 PPP P     PPPPP
 Metal Halide Lamp Fixtures 2007 2009PPPP PP    PPPPP
 Plumbing Products 1992 1994 E              
 Pool Pumps None None OO O           
 Pre-rinse Spray Valve  2005 2008PPP   P    PPP P
 Refrigerators and Freezers (reach-in) 2005 2010POO   O  P POP O
 Refrigerators and Freezers (walk-in) 2007 2009 PPP        PP  
 Single-Voltage External Power 2005 2008PPPP PP    PPPPP
 Torchiere Lamps 2005 2006PPP   P  P PPP P
 Traffic Signals (pedestrian) 2005 2006 P         P    
 Traffic Signals (vehicular) 2005 2006PPP   P  P PPP P
 Unit Heater  2005 2008PPP   P  P PPP P
 Vending Machines 2005 None O              
 Water Dispensers None None OOO  O O   OO  

 Stronger state standard in place/being sought:
 E - A state standard has been set; federal preemption rights have expired because too much time has passed since the federal standard was updated.
 O - A state standard has been set, but will be preempted when a new federal standard becomes effective.
 W - The state is seeking a waiver to from an impending or existing federal standard to maintain a more stringent state standard.

 State standard preempted by federal standard:
 P - A state standard has been preempted by a federal standard.


 * In the case of Maryland’s commercial AC appliance standard, large-packaged air conditioners—with cooling capacities between 20 and 63.3 tons—will be preempted January 1, 2010, but a standard for units with cooling capacities between 63.4 and 80 tons will remain in place.

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