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Compressed Air and the Department of Energy

Learn more about the DOE's energy efficiency standards for the compressed air industry.

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  • The DOE sets minimum energy efficiency standards in approximately 60 categories of equipment and appliances used in homes and businesses.
  • The products regulated by the program represent about 90% of home energy use, 60% of commercial building energy use, and 30% of industrial energy use.
  • Air Compressors is one of the areas covered by these regulations.
  • Federal test procedures for compressors first came into existence in January, 2017.
  • The DOE has now published a Federal Register notice of final rule pertaining to energy efficiency standards for compressors. The effective date of this rule is March 10, 2020.
  • Compliance with the new standards established for compressors in this final rule is required on and after January 10, 2025. (Some states have already implemented).
  • The DOE estimates the new standards will save consumers $36 million to $45 million on their utility bills each year, or $200 to $400 million over the lifespan of the machines.
  • The lifetime energy savings for air compressors purchased in the 30-year period that begins with the first full year of compliance will amount to more than 15 billion kilowatt-hours, equivalent to a year’s worth of electricity use in 1.6 million homes.
  • The newly adopted compressor standards are expressed in isentropic efficiency.
  • Isentropic efficiency refers to the ratio of the theoretical isentropic power required for a compression process to the actual power required for the same process.
  • Compressors must meet specific criteria to be tested by the DOE.
  • All major compressor manufacturers were part of the shaping the new regulations.

Not familiar with isentropic efficiency? Don't worry! Our friends at CAGI, who have long been the unified voice of the compressor industry, have produced a video explaining this term in detail.

What Does Isentrophic Efficiency Mean for You? Explore our recent blog post that dives deeper into this new method of compressor comparison from CAGI.

The Carbon Reduction Estimator

See the environmental impact of your energy savings!

Carbon Reduction Estimator

Step 1: Select your currency and unit of measurement.

Step 2: Fill in your annual running hours, system power, and electrical cost per hour.

Step 3: Choose the percentage of energy saving:

  • 1 bar pressure band reduction: 7%
  • Changing from fixed speed to VSD: 35%
  • Changing from fixed speed to VSD+: 50%
  • Installing an energy recovery system: 94%

Step 4: Select the numbers of years to visualize saving over time.

Have a look at the estimation of your reduction in electricity costs and your CO2 reduction. To make it more tangible, we visualized the reduction in CO2 in more common comparisons such as CO2 emissions from charged smartphones and a households' yearly electricity use.