Federal Appliance Standards

July 07, 2021


Note: HR 6582 of 2012 made some modifications to the efficiency standards previously adopted for some appliance types. The bill did not adopt new standards for previously unregulated appliances, but made some minor changes to the requirements for walk-in coolers, walk-in freezers, water heaters, self-contained medium temperature commercial refrigerators, central air conditioners, and heat pumps. The bill also included some non-substantive technical corrections. For more information regarding federal or state energy efficiency standards please visit the Appliance Standards Awareness Project.

Minimum standards of energy efficiency for many major appliances were established by the U.S. Congress in the federal Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) of 1975, and have been subsequently amended by succeeding energy legislation, including the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA). 

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is required to set appliance efficiency standards at levels that achieve the maximum improvement in energy efficiency that is technologically feasible and economically justified. The DOE website lists updates and final rulings for 25 consumer product categories, 26 commercial and industrial product categories, 15 lighting product categories, and 5 plumbing product categories.

Products with energy efficiency standards requiring compliance in upcoming or recent years are listed below with compliance dates:

  • Battery Chargers (2018)
  • Clothes Washers (2018)
  • Dehumidifiers (2019)
  • Furnace Fans (2019)
  • Miscellaneous Refrigeration Products (2019)
  • Ceiling Fans (2020)
  • Boilers (2021)
  • Pool Pumps (2021)
  • Central AC and Heat Pumps (2023)
  • Portable Air Conditioners (2025)

Note: Several states have adopted their own appliance standards. Under the general rules of federal preemption, federal standards for a certain product category preempt a state's standards, even in cases where the state standard is more stringent. States which had set standards prior to federal enactment may enforce their state standards up until the federal standards become effective for that product. States that have not set standards for a product category that is now enforced by the federal government are subject to the federal standard immediately.

Program Overview

Implementing Sector: Federal
Category: Regulatory Policy
State: Federal
Incentive Type: Appliance/Equipment Efficiency Standards
Web Site: http://www.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards
Start Date:
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
  • Clothes Washers
  • Dishwasher
  • Refrigerators/Freezers
  • Dehumidifiers
  • Ceiling Fan
  • Water Heaters
  • Lighting
  • Furnaces
  • Boilers
  • Heat pumps
  • Air conditioners
  • Motors
  • Other EE
Equipment Requirements: Specified in Code of Federal Regulations
Test Methods: Varies
Implementing Agency: U.S. Department of Energy


Name: 42 USCS § 6291, et seq.
Name: 10 CFR 430
Name: 10 CFR 431
Name: HR 6582
Date Enacted: 12/18/2012


Name: Public Information - DOE
Organization: U.S. Department of Energy
Address: 1000 Independence Avenue, EE-42
Washington DC 20585
Phone: (877) 337-3463

This information is sourced from DSIRE; the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States. Established in 1995, DSIRE is operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University.