The Biden administration announced its latest home appliance regulations this week, targeting air conditioners in an action it said would reduce the nation’s carbon emissions.
The regulations, unveiled Thursday by the Department of Energy (DOE), finalize energy efficiency standards for home air conditioning units, or window air conditioners, and portable air cleaners. The DOE said the move would cut air pollution and push consumer costs down by billions of dollars via energy savings.
“Today’s announcement builds on the historic actions President Biden took last year to strengthen outdated energy efficiency standards, which will help save on people’s energy bills and reduce our nation’s carbon footprint,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said in a statement.
“DOE will continue to engage with our public and private sector partners to finalize additional proposals like today’s that lower household energy costs and deliver the safer, healthier communities that every American deserves,” she continued.
According to the DOE, the new energy efficiency standards will save Americans about $1.5 billion annually and curb carbon dioxide emissions by 106 million metric tons over three decades.
The agency added that the regulations were part of President Biden’s efforts to promote innovation and lower costs for families “while tackling the climate crisis.” The rules for air cleaners are scheduled to be implemented in 2024 and the rules for room air conditioners are slated for 2026.
Over the last several months, meanwhile, the DOE has introduced a series of energy efficiency regulations impacting various home appliances including gas stoves, ovens, clothes washers, and refrigerators. Critics have blasted the rules as federal overreach and unnecessary given that the industry has improved technology without government intervention.
“What these mandates, what these standards do is enforce a level of efficiency that doesn’t make sense,” Ben Lieberman, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, told Fox News Digital in an interview last week. “And they compromise product quality. We’ve already seen this to an extent with cost of clothes washer standards.”