Projected regional impacts of appliance efficiency standards for the US residential sector
Minimum efficiency standards for residential appliances have been implemented in the US for a large number of residential end-uses. This analysis assesses the potential energy, dollar, and carbon impacts of those standards at the state and national levels. We explicitly account for improvements in efficiency likely to occur in the absence of standards, but because our method for characterizing these exogenous improvements probably overestimates them, both the energy and cost savings presented in this article represent lower bounds to the true benefits. Cumulative present-valued dollar savings after subtracting out the additional cost of the more efficient equipment are about $30 billion from 1990 to 2010. Each dollar of federal expenditure on implementing the standards will contribute $165 of net present-valued savings to the US economy over the 1990 to 2010 period. Average benefit/cost ratios for these standards are about 3.5 for the US as a whole. Projected carbon reductions are approximately 9 million metric tons of carbon per year in the years from 2000 to 2010. Because these standards save energy at a cost less than the price of that energy, the resulting carbon emission reductions are achieved at negative net cost to society.
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