The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is upping the ante in the energy efficiency game by raising the level of performance required for dishwashers and furnaces to receive the coveted Energy Star seal of approval.
Effective January 20, 2012, both standard-sized and compact residential dishwashers will have to be 10 to 30 percent more efficient than baseline models to be Energy Star qualified, or around 8 percent more efficient than those currently bearing the Energy Star seal.
The new qualifications for furnaces differ by region, with those sold in southern states (where furnaces are used less) subject to less rigorous standards. In order to bear the U.S. South Energy Star mark, furnaces in southern climate zones will have to be 12 percent more efficient than baseline units, while those that bear the U.S. North Energy Star seal must beat the baseline by 16 percent. These requirements represent a 5 percent increase in energy efficiency over previous Energy Star requirements.
As per Energy Star’s recent round of belt-tightening, all products must be tested by an EPA-recognized third-party based on testing conducted in an EPA-recognized laboratory, and manufacturers themselves must also participate in verification testing programs run by recognized certification bodies.