New Efficiency Standards for Distribution Transformers from DOE

The federal government yesterday issued new efficiency standards for the electricity distribution transformers that bring power to every U.S. home and business. The new standards are an important step in the right direction, although far greater savings are achievable. To achieve the maximum cost-effective energy savings, DOE will need to revisit the standards in the next few years, as the industry adjusts to making higher efficiency products.

The new standards, developed by the U.S. Department of Energy, apply to the metal boxes mounted on utility poles and installed in buildings to reduce the higher voltages on the distribution network to the 110 or 220 volts used by appliances and equipment. Because nearly all electricity from the national power grid flows through one of the 40 million such transformers nationwide, even small increases in efficiency add up to large savings.

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