Much of technology for energy bill developed in Oak Ridge

Oak Ridge (WVLT) - Oak Ridge scientists have developed technology for much of this energy bill.

Volunteer TV's Liz Tedone has the details.

The miles per gallon formula was revamped here at Oak Ridge National Lab. Your car's current mpg is based on technology from the 70s, and our driving habits have changed since then. Meanwhile, Oak Ridge scientists are also credited with establishing Star Energy Products. You've seen the labels on some popular name brand appliances. With today's new law, they have more money coming for more research.

You may pay more to buy home appliances in the future, but the energy savings from improved refrigerators and heat pumps will pay you back in the long run. That's what they're working on here at Oak Ridge National Lab, the heat exchangers that are found in some major household appliances.

"You're probably looking at 25 to 50 percent reductions in energy consumption in your appliances, house, cars, lightbulbs. It's pretty drastic," said Ed Vineyard from ORNL.

And many major appliances already have the E-Star seal of approval. They've been upgraded or improved to cost you less in the long run. All of the appliances in your home put out what's called waste heat, and scientists here are trying to use that waste heat to create a more energy efficient home.

"Where we could take a lot of waste heat streams off of them. With some of these heat exchanger technologies, we're looking at utilizing that heat and bringing your energy consumption down in your house," Vineyard said.

Your refrigerator is one of the more energy efficient appliances in your home. Most of them use only one kilowatt a day, costing only 7-cents, but after new technology, it could cost even less.

The energy law will give Oak Ridge scientists funding to continue their work with household appliances. In short, the more you pay now, the more you may get paid back later. In the years ahead, we will soon say goodbye to the incandescent light bulb to be replaced solely by halogen and fluorescents.

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