Taken together, these findings demonstrate that the United States is not running out of technologies to
improve energy efficiency and will not exhaust its efficiency improving options in the foreseeable future.
Additional GHG reduction breakthroughs are likely in other related areas and especially in renewables
such as photovoltaic systems, hydrogen fuel cells, and solar heating and lighting.
F. The Potential for Reduced Emissions 
Box 4
The Refrigerator Story
Between 1977 and 1982, DOE invested approxi 
consumers $7 billion in energy costs from 1981 to
mately $1.6 million in R&D to make home refrigerators
1990 (1999$).
more energy efficient. Working in a public/private part 
In 1997, a DOE industry cooperative R&D effort
nership with compressor and appliance manufacturers,
developed a prototype  fridge of the future  that further
DOE and two federal laboratories identified ways of
reduced energy consumption by nearly 50 percent com 
improving the performance of refrigerator compressors,
pared with refrigerators then on the market and sur 
motors, insulation, and controls, and they provided test
passed the 2001 U.S. efficiency standard for refrigera 
data for use in setting national standards. These technol 
tors (Figure 15). These developments, in combination
ogy investments, in conjunction with the issuance of
with the 2001 standard, is expected to save consumers
appliance standards, cut the energy use of the average
billions of dollars over the years of operation of these
new refrigerator in half by the year 1990 and saved U.S.
improved appliances.
Figure 15
Average Electricity Use of    
Household Refrigerator/Freezers  
by Year of Purchase
+
2,200
22
2,000
1,800
18
1,600
.S. $)
1978 CA Standard
(cubic feet)
1,400
14
er Unit (kWh/yr)
$1,272.03
1980 CA Standard
1,200
1987 CA Standard
$999.08
1,000
10
1990 NAECA
$893.58
2001 
800
1993 
DOE
DOE
and Price (2003 U
600
6
$576.11
rage Energy Use P
$462.99
e
400
+
Av
200
2
0
1947
1955
1963
1971
1979
1987
1995
2003
Adjusted Average Volume (cubic feet)
U.S. Sales Weighted Average Energy Use
Average Real Price
Source: Geller, H.S. and D.B. Goldstein. 1999.  Equipment Efficiency Standards: Mitigating Global Climate Change at a Profit.  Physics and
Society 28, No. 2:4. and The National Commission on Energy Policy. 2004. Ending the Energy Stalemate: A Bipartisan Strategy to Meet America's
Energy Challenges, December, http:www.energycommission.org, and National Research Council, 2001. op cit.
57
Towards a Climate Friendly  
Built Environment
+
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