Evaluation of Energy-Efficiency Standards for Room Air Conditioners in the US
This article describes an analysis of the energy and economic impacts of possible energy efficiency standards for room air conditioners on both U.S. consumers and the nation as a whole. We used two metrics to determine the effect of standards on a representative sample of U.S. consumers: life-cycle cost change and payback period. For the national impact analysis, we evaluated national energy savings attributable to each potential standard, the monetary value of the energy savings to consumers of room air conditioners, the increased total installed costs because of standards, and the net present value of the difference between the value of energy savings and increased total installed costs. Our analysis indicates that standards for room air conditioners at efficiency level 3, which is 17% more efficient than today's typical unit in the case of room air conditioners less than 6000 Btu/h with louvers and 12% more efficient in the case of room air conditioners 8000 - 13,999 Btu/h with louvers, would save close to one quad of energy over 30 years and have a net present value of consumer benefit of between ~$0.14 billion and $1.82 billion, depending on the discount rate. In addition, such standards would reduce carbon dioxide emissions and NOx emissions.