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Vending Machines First in List of New Energy Efficiency Standards

June 2009 - Energy Efficiency

Proposed new standards, released recently by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), would cut the average energy use of the most common new cold beverage vending machines by about 42 percent.

These standards build on a series of improvements in vending machine efficiency achieved over the past decade. With the new standards, per unit energy use will be no more than about 1,400 to 1,800 kilowatt-hours per year. In the mid-1990s, many machines used as much as 3,000 to 5,000 kilowatt-hours per year, according to The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

Once the new standards take effect in three years, each typical new machine will save about $320 per year compared to an older machine, according to ACEEE.

Altogether, according to DOE, the proposed new beverage machine standards could save about 10 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity over 30 years. This is enough electricity to meet the needs of about 800,000 typical U.S. homes for one year.

The standards would save vending machine property owners about $250 million over thirty years. The standards would, cumulatively over 30 years, eliminate about 5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions (or roughly the amount emitted by one million typical cars in a year). These carbon dioxide emission reductions, according to DOE, are worth as much as another $96 million.
The proposed standards reduce energy use of the increasingly popular glass front machines by 35 to 42 percent compared to basic machines available today, but for the older style, solid front machines, energy use is reduced by 15 percent.

Under court orders and Congressional deadlines, DOE must complete about 25 new standards by January 2012. According to preliminary estimates by ACEEE, the standards could altogether reduce projected 2020 U.S. electricity use by at least 165 billion kilowatt-hours, or about 4 percent.


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