Commercial and Industrial Compressors

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The Energy Policy and Conservation Act, as amended, (EPCA) covers certain commercial and industrial equipment, including compressors, for which the Department of Energy (DOE) is authorized to establish energy conservation standards. DOE is considering energy conservation standards and test procedures for such compressors.

Compression of a gas, such as air, is a thermodynamic process whereby the air enters a compressor machine or apparatus at one condition of pressure, volume, and temperature and exits at a condition of increased pressure and temperature with corresponding decreased volume. This increased air pressure is converted into useful work to power a wide variety of commercial and industrial equipment that use large volumes of air, such as: pneumatic manufacturing tools in automated factories used for assembling car parts; paint spraying machines; manufactured clothing; bulk packaging; oxidation for petroleum coking or cement plant bag house purge systems; filling air cylinders; office and school building pneumatic heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning system valves; and high-power pneumatic tools such as jackhammers and some types of drills.

DOE has determined that EPCA covers commercial and industrial compressors and is currently in a rulemaking process to prescribe test procedures and establish energy efficiency standards for such equipment.

Recent Updates | Standards | Test Procedures | Waiver, Exception, and Exemption Information | Statutory Authority | Historical Information | Contact Information

Recent Updates

DOE published a notice of public meeting and availability of the framework document regarding energy conservation standards for commercial and industrial air compressors. 79 FR 6839 (February 5, 2014). For more information, please see the rulemaking page.

Standards for Commercial and Industrial Compressors

There are currently no federal energy conservations standards for commercial and industrial compressors.

Test Procedure for Commercial and Industrial Compressors

There are currently no federal test procedures for commercial and industrial compressors.

Waivers, Exceptions, and Exemptions

Because there are no federal energy conservation standards or test procedures for commercial and industrial compressors, the provisions of 10 CFR Part 431 and Part 1003 that apply to waivers, exceptions, and state exemptions to Federal pre-emption are not relevant.

Statutory Authority

Part A-1 of Title III of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 6291-6317 (EPCA) establishes the "Energy Conservation Program for Certain Industrial Equipment." The purpose of Part A-1 is to improve the efficiency of various types of industrial equipment to conserve the energy resources of the Nation, which includes compressors. (42 U.S.C. 6311(2)(B)(i)). Commercial or industrial compressors are listed as a type of covered equipment for which DOE may establish energy conservation standards consistent with 42 U.S.C. 6311 and 6312.

Historical Information

In considering energy conservation standards for commercial and industrial compressors, DOE will conduct an analysis of the potential energy savings, economic benefits, environmental or energy security benefits of efficient compressors, as well as impacts on manufacturers and consumers of compressors, impacts on competition, the environment, and non-regulatory or voluntary approaches, and other relevant impacts as required by EPCA and described under appendix A to subpart C of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 430.

Helpful Links and Contact Information

Helpful Links

Find tips and guidance for making your home, workplace, or vehicle more energy efficient visit EnergySavers.gov.

Contact information

For more information related to the regulation of this product, please email: