News Analysis

Energy Star Labeling for Ceiling Fans

At the August 2001 National Hardware Show in Chicago the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) introduced the latest Energy Star®-labeled product: residential ceiling fans. Working closely with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Ecos Consulting, and the residential fan industry, EPA developed airflow efficiency, controls, and lighting performance criteria by which to qualify ceiling fans for the program. According to Chris Calwell of Ecos Consulting, the current Energy Star criteria will qualify just the top 20–25% of fans on the market. Manufacturers capturing fully 80% of the ceiling fan market claim they will have at least one model that qualifies when Energy Star-labeled fans become available for purchase as of January 1, 2002. Both Home Depot and Lowe’s have committed to having testing information and results on the packaging of all their fans. For the first time, consumers will have an “energy guide”-type label by which to compare the performance of models and brands.

The Hunter Fan Company played a leading role in development of the test method for airflow efficiency and in the testing of 50 different fans during that effort. NRDC is currently working with electric utilities to develop rebates and marketing programs to support the Energy Star fan program. According to Noah Horowitz, a senior scientist with NRDC, “If all 150 million ceiling fans in the nation had the Energy Star label, we could cut carbon emissions—the major cause of global climate change—by nearly 5 million metric tons per year.” For information on a ceiling fan that goes far beyond the new Energy Star standards, see our review in the March 2001 issue of

EBN (Vol. 10, No. 3).

Published October 1, 2001