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New EPA standards encourage new "smart" features in addition to improved performance


Remodeling Magazine, one of the leading publications for building professionals, wrote earlier this summer:

“Keep an eye out for new smart technology in refrigerators and freezers beginning next fall. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced revisions to its Energy Star requirements for residential refrigerators and freezers that go beyond simple energy efficiency. The EPA is encouraging manufacturers to incorporate connected, ‘smart’ features into their appliances.”

Emphasis added. It might seem rather surprising that the EPA is pushing features in addition to performance, but it makes sense. Remodeling Magazine adds: “[M]odels with connected features will provide homeowners additional energy-saving opportunities including: viewing real-time energy use; receiving energy-related messages, such as alerts when the door is left open; managing appliance settings remotely; having ‘smart grid-ready‘ connections to respond to utility signals during peak and off-peak demand.”

It’s not just about impressive gadgetry. This cutting-edge technology can actually improve performance and efficiency, simply by giving the homeowner more control and making that control easy.

These new EPA standards are expected to go into effect in September 2014. In the meantime, check out these energy-efficient appliances — such as the futuristic-looking Dyson space heater shown above — from

[photo courtesy of]