Energy Efficiency Standards: Good for the Bottom Line and Climate

According to SBI (Specialists in Business Information):-- "Capitalizing on energy efficiency upgrades mandated by the U.S. Department of Energy's SEER standard 13 (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) requirements for residential air conditioners and heat pumps, the market supply for HVAC equipment experienced double-digit growth in 2005 reaching a value of $13.3 billion. Market findings in HVAC Equipment in the U.S., a new report from market research firm SBI , show the market supply surpassing $18 billion by 2010.

According to the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI), "While equipment prices have modestly risen under the standards, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory research indicates that the benefit energy savings are more than three times the cost on a net-present value basis". So here's the thing. With that much of an economic stimulation potential, why did the US Department of Energy resist implementing a SEER 13 standard? Would that have been admitting that climate change was real? Was it a case of free-market utopianism?

Image credit: Maytag Air Conditioner - M1010 13/14 SEER

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