US Energy Dept Sets Air Conditioner Efficiency Rule

New rule requiring 20% improvement criticized as weaker than 30% proposed by Clinton Administration.

Published: 14-Apr-2001

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Energy Department said on Friday it will propose rules requiring more energy-efficient home air conditioners and heat pumps by 2006.

However, the initiative would result in weaker energy efficiency standards than had been sought by the Clinton administration and conservation groups.

Under the Bush administration's plan, central air conditioners and heat pumps sold to homes will have to achieve energy efficiency that is 20 percent greater than that in current air conditioners and heat pumps.

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