The website of the Super-efficient Equipment and Appliance Deployment (SEAD) Initiative

The U.S. consumes approximately 18.6 percent of the world’s primary energy. The U.S. makes extensive use of minimum standards, endorsement labels, and comparative labels to improve the energy efficiency of equipment and appliances.

The Department of Energy's (DOE) Appliances and Commercial Equipment Standards Program develops test procedures and minimum efficiency standards for residential appliances and commercial equipment. The first appliance standards were enacted in 1987, and since that time a series of laws and DOE regulations have established, and periodically updated, energy efficiency or water use standards for over 50 categories of appliances and equipment used in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors.

Since 1980, manufacturers of certain appliances have been required to attach comparison labels to their appliances to give consumers important information about energy use. The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Appliance Labeling Rule currently requires EnergyGuide labels on refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers, clothes washers, room air conditioners, water heaters, furnaces, boilers, central air conditioners, heat pumps, pool heaters, and televisions.

The U.S. DOE and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have jointly managed ENERGY STAR, a successful voluntary endorsement labeling program, since 1992. The ENERGY STAR label is available for use on more than 60 product categories including home and office electronic equipment, buildings, and household appliances.  ENERGY STAR Most Efficient is a new program element to identify and advance highly efficient products in the marketplace.  

Information regarding the U.S.'s current energy efficiency programs can be found on the CLASP Standards and Labeling (S&L) Database.


Standards & Labeling: Technical experts from the US DOE and EPA are leading international collaboration efforts for televisions and motors. The US is also participating in product collaborations for commercial refrigeration, computers, distribution transformers, network standby, and solid state lighting.

Awards: The US is contributing to the development of program rules and criteria for the 2012 SEAD Global Appliance Efficiency Awards for televisions. The US is one of four regional markets in which television awards will be given.

Incentives: The US is currently working with other SEAD member countries to define work activities for the incentives working group.

Procurement: The US is participating in the procurement working group and is currently contributing to the development of requirements for a procurement challenge for commercial refrigeration products. The US is also contributing to the development of best practices guides and analytical tools to enhance public procurement of efficient products.

Technical Analysis: The US is participating in the cross-cutting technical analysis working group, and is contributing to assessments of energy efficiency potential for televisions, room air conditioners, and ceiling fans. The US is also contributing to the development of the Bottom-up Energy Analysis System (BUENAS) for use in measuring the impact of global S&L programs.

Ask An Expert

To seek expert advice on questions related to appliance efficiency policy, submit a question and it will be directed to an appropriate technical expert.