Washington, D.C. – The American Gas Association (AGA) commends the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy for publishing in the Federal Register, August 18, a Statement of Policy that it will use full-fuel-cycle measures of energy use and emissions when evaluating energy conservation standards for appliances. Full-fuel-cycle energy refers to the energy consumed in the extraction, production, processing and transportation of the fuel to its point of use. DOE will also work with the Federal Trade Commission to make readily available to customers information on full-fuel-cycle energy use and emissions to enable customers to make cross-class comparisons of products.
“AGA believes that the use of a full-fuel-cycle energy analysis enables a more comprehensive analysis of the total energy and emissions impacts of minimum efficiency standards for appliances,” said Dave McCurdy, president and CEO, AGA. “Making such information publicly available will help customers better understand the energy and environmental impacts of their appliance choices.”
Unlike the current “site-based” energy efficiency standards for appliances, which only measure a product’s energy efficiency and environmental impact at the point of consumption—for example an electric or gas residential water heater—a full-fuel-cycle energy efficiency standard measures the total energy efficiency and environmental impact as energy travels from its original source, such as a coal mine or natural gas well head, to its end-use in the home or business. Because the full-fuel-cycle standard takes into account the energy loss and emissions that occur in bringing electricity or primary fuels to the appliance, it is far more accurate than the “site-based” standards. The full-fuel-cycle standard better recognizes the inherent efficiency of the nation’s natural gas delivery system – 92 percent of the energy produced reaches the consumer as usable energy.