The Department of Energy has been declining to update and strengthen many energy efficiency standards for home appliances and equipment. A newly proposed process rule from the department could slow or freeze further updates to the standards and provide for additional product exemptions.
Why it matters: These energy efficiency rules have been instrumental in cutting Americans' energy use, even as home appliances have expanded their features and improved their performance. They have also saved Americans money on their utility bills — about $63 billion in 2015 alone. Failing to update them could cost households billions of dollars over the next several years.