Appliance Standards Compliance Survey

February 4, 2016

California’s Appliance Efficiency Regulations (Title 20, Sections 1601‐1608) set energy and water efficiency standards for types of appliances sold or offered for sale in California, including some appliances that are also federally regulated. To comply with state law, manufacturers must certify the performance of their appliances to the California Energy Commission, which maintains a list of compliant appliances in their Appliance Efficiency Database. Appliance models that are not listed in the Database that are sold or offered for sale in the state are not in compliance with state law.

Benningfield Group conducted surveys to evaluate the level of statewide compliance for twenty‐nine types of regulated appliances in stores, printed catalogs, and on the internet. Surveyors were instructed to find each type of appliance in at least eight catalogs and/or websites, and to visit at least ten stores each in Northern, Central, and Southern California that are representative of both large and small businesses. For each appliance surveyed, the manufacturer and model number was compared to those in the database at If listed in the database, the appliance was marked compliant. Appliances not in the database were marked noncompliant and rechecked by a separate quality assurance surveyor.

Out of 4,613 unique appliances surveyed, fifty-five percent were noncompliant. The highest noncompliance rates were among infrared gas space heaters and metal halide luminaires (ninety and ninety-two percent, respectively); the lowest noncompliance rates were among clothes dryers and washers (twelve and twenty percent, respectively). This data was used to encourage noncompliant manufacturers to test and certify their appliances with the California Energy Commission.