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Breakfast Session:
Energy Efficient Laboratory Equipment

Thursday, October 7

Hosted by the University of California

Laboratory equipment energy use constitutes between 10 to as much as 50 percent of the total energy use in a lab (not including associated cooling energy use). However, there has been little attention paid to this as an area for efficiency improvements, partly because of the real and perceived lack of energy-efficient choices in lab equipment, and the lack of data on energy use characteristics of lab equipment.

During the 2003 Labs21 conference, we held a roundtable discussion with manufacturers, purchasers, specifiers, and others interested in collaborating on these issues. During the discussion, the group decided that of the plug-in equipment, refrigerators and freezers were among the heavier energy users.

In 2004, conference participants continued this important discussion. Topics included:

  • An examination of the types of refrigerators and freezers used in institutional laboratories.
  • An examination of ENERGY STAR™ labeling as a means to encourage the manufacture of more efficient units.
  • A discussion of how manufacturers and institutional purchasers can work together to encourage market transformation through purchasing specifications that include efficiency criteria.
  • The development of a short-term strategy (e.g., letters to manufacturers and incentive "rebate" types of programs).
  • The development of a mid- to long-term strategy (e.g., scoping study, formal studies with EPA's ENERGY STAR program, purchasing policy development).
  • Action items for participants.

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