Home appliances have made massive gains in energy efficiency over the past few decades due to a combination of innovation and tighter efficiency standards. AHAM’s Early Replacement Program aims to help consumers capture those savings by educating them on the benefits of replacing their old appliances with new models. Compared to the appliances of a quarter-century ago, the combined energy savings of all appliances shipped last year is enough to power Washington, DC for 60 years. With the potential of greater savings from tighter efficiency standards dwindling without risk to product function, early replacement is a critical next step toward achieving new gains in energy efficiency.
AHAM’s Early Replacement program aims to expand and improve rebate-driven programs to remove from the grid older, less efficient refrigerators and other appliances and replace them with current, more efficient products. Given that energy use by refrigerators is 50% of what it was in 1990, the potential benefits of such programs are substantial. AHAM estimates that expanded early replacement and recycling programs could reduce demand by 30-60 million MtCO2 over a five year period at a cost of approximately 2.3 ¢/kWh. Over this same period, consumers could save an estimated $5-10 billion from lower electricity bills.
AHAM is calling on the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, utility providers, appliance recyclers and retailers to work with home appliance manufacturers to help build the program and work toward mutual goals of energy efficiency, consumer cost savings and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.