Residential Cooking Products, Including Microwave Ovens
The Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA), as amended, requires the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to determine whether amended, more stringent standards would be technologically feasible and economically justified. On April 8, 2009, DOE published a final rule amending the energy conservation standards for gas and electric kitchen ranges and ovens. DOE raised the standards for gas kitchen ranges and ovens and determined that standards for electric kitchen ranges and ovens did not warrant revision—a "no-standard" standard. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA 2007) amended EPCA to direct DOE to amend its test procedure for kitchen ranges and ovens to include measures of standby mode and off mode energy consumption. For microwave ovens, DOE decided to await the impending finalization of the industry standard for measurement of microwave oven standby mode and off mode power consumption before adopting a corresponding DOE test procedure (a prerequisite for an energy conservation standard addressing standby power).
Current Rulemaking Activities for Microwave Ovens: In November 2007, DOE determined, and published in an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANOPR), that energy consumption by microwave ovens in the standby mode represents a significant portion of microwave oven energy use, and that a standard regulating such energy consumption would likely have significant energy savings. Before standby power could be included in an efficiency standard for microwave ovens, however, test procedures for the measurement of standby power would be required.
Therefore, DOE published an interim final rule on March 9, 2011, amending its test procedures for microwave ovens under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) to provide for the measurement of standby mode and off mode power use by microwave ovens. Those amendments incorporated into the DOE test procedure provisions from the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Standard 62301, ‘‘Household electrical appliances— Measurement of standby power,’’ First Edition 2005–06. In addition, those amendments adopted in the DOE test procedure included definitions of modes based on the relevant provisions from the IEC Standard 62301 Second Edition, Final Draft International Standard, as well as language to clarify application of these provisions for measuring standby mode and off mode power consumption in microwave ovens. Just prior to publication of the interim final rule, the IEC replaced the First Edition of this standard with the current Second Edition. In response, DOE published a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking on November 23, 2011 that proposes to incorporate the latest edition of IEC Standard 62301 (Second Edition), along with clarifying language, into the DOE test procedures for microwave ovens adopted in the March 2011 Interim Final Rule.
Efficiency Rating: The efficiency metrics for cooking products are cooking efficiency and energy factor. Cooking efficiency is defined as the ratio of the energy absorbed by the food to the total energy input to the cooking device. Energy factor (EF) is the ratio of the annual useful cooking energy output of the residential cooking appliance (i.e. the energy conveyed to the item being heated) to its total annual energy consumption. The EF is primarily a function of the cooking efficiency, and in fact, for all electric cooktops and gas cooktops equipped with an electronic ignition device, the EF is equal to the cooking efficiency. But for gas cooktops equipped with standing pilots, the EF is also a function of the gas energy consumption of the pilot lights. This results in the EF being significantly lower than the cooking efficiency.
Residential Cooking Products product classes are:
- Gas Cooktops
- Electric Cooktops with open coil element
- Electric Cooktops with smooth elements
- Gas standard ovens
- Gas self-cleaning ovens
- Electric standard ovens
- Electric self-cleaning oven
- Microwave ovens
Under contract to DOE, LBNL's Energy Efficiency Standards (EES) group conducted analyses for the previous residential cooking products rulemakings and the microwave oven test procedure rulemaking, including:
- Markups from manufacturer price to consumer price (for equipment)
- Energy and water use
- Energy prices
- Life-cycle cost and payback period analysis
- Shipments analysis
- National impact analysis (national energy savings and net present value).
Efficiency Standards History: The National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NAECA) established prescriptive standards effective in 1990 for gas cooking products, prohibiting gas ranges and ovens with an electrical supply cord from being equipped with constant burning pilot lights. DOE also published amendments to the test procedures for kitchen ranges, cooktops, ovens, and microwave ovens in October, 1997.
DOE published a final rule in September, 1998, that covered only electric cooking products, including microwave ovens. At that time, the final rule found that no standards were justified for electric cooking products. For more information, see DOE's residential cooking products website. This website includes the link to the webpage for the technical support document upon which DOE based its final rule for residential cooking equipment, dated September 8, 1998.
DOE initiated the second cycle of energy conservation standards rulemakings for cooking products by publishing in 2006 a framework document covering, in part, microwave ovens, and giving notice of a public meeting and the availability of the framework document. On April 8, 2009, DOE published a final rule amending the energy conservation standards for gas and electric kitchen ranges and ovens. DOE raised the standards for gas kitchen ranges and ovens and determined that standards for electric kitchen ranges and ovens did not warrant revision—a "no-standard" standard. For microwave ovens, DOE decided to await the impending finalization of the industry standard for measurement of microwave oven standby mode and off mode power consumption before adopting a corresponding DOE test procedure (a prerequisite for an energy conservation standard addressing standby power).
Project lead: Camilla Dunham Whitehead