US: DOE proposes higher efficiency standards for refrigerators

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has proposed a new energy efficiency standard for residential refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers and freezers which could save as much as USD 18.6 billion over 30 years.
According to DOE, over the last 40 years, refrigerators have seen significant reductions in the amount of energy they use, even though they have grown larger and have more features.  As a result of previous appliance efficiency standards, today's refrigerators use less than one-third of the electricity than they did in the mid-1970s.  With the proposed standard, the energy use of most refrigerator-freezers will decrease by another 20-25% by 2014.
The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking* has been submitted for public comment and the new standard is expected to go into effect in January 2014.