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Microwave Ovens

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Microwave ovens cook or heat food by means of microwave energy. Some microwave ovens also have thermal elements designed for surface browning of food. Microwave ovens are sometimes available as combination ovens, which have additional heating elements or convection capability. Microwave ovens enable users to cook food in ways similar to conventional ovens. These products are offered in a broad range of sizes and configurations. Typical microwave ovens are available in countertop or over-the-range configurations.

The Standards and Test Procedures for this product are related to Rulemaking for Microwave Ovens Energy Conservation Standard, Microwave Oven Standby Mode and Off Mode Energy Conservation Standards Rulemaking, Rulemaking for Microwave Ovens Test Procedure Active Mode, and Rulemaking for Microwave Ovens Test Procedure Standby and Off Mode.

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

Recent Updates

 DOE has published a Federal Register correction notice pertaining to energy conservation standards and test procedures for microwave ovens in the standby and off modes  81 FR 7965(February 17, 2016). This document addresses a drafting error in the June 2013 standards final rule, which referenced the incorrect provision for determining standby power for microwave ovens. Neither the error nor the correction in this document affect the substance of both the test procedure and energy conservation standards rulemakings or any of the conclusions reached in support of those final rules. For more information, please see the rulemaking page.

Standards for Microwave Ovens

The following content summarizes the energy conservation standards for microwave ovens. The text is not an official reproduction of the Code of Federal Regulations and should not be used for legal research or citation.

Current Standard

There are currently no energy conservation standards for microwave ovens.

Amended Standard

Microwave ovens manufactured and distributed in commerce, as defined by 42 U.S.C. 6291(16), on or after June 17, 2016 must meet the energy conservation standards shown in the table below, as specified in the Code of Federal Regulations, 10 CFR 430.32(j)(3). This information is also available in the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations.

Table 1. Energy Conservation Standards for Microwave Ovens
Product Class Maximum Standby Power (Watts)
1. Microwave-only ovens and countertop convection microwave ovens 1.0
2. Built-in and over-the-range convection microwave ovens 2.2

After a regulatory action has been completed, Executive Order 12866 requires agencies to identify the substantive changes between the draft submitted to Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) for review and the action subsequently announced, and to identify those changes made at the suggestion or recommendation of OIRA. The document below provides more information.

Test Procedure for Microwave Ovens

Current Test Procedure

Manufacturers must follow the test procedures specified at 10 CFR 430.23(i) to demonstrate compliance with energy conservation standards for microwave ovens manufactured on or after June 17, 2016. Manufacturers must also follow these test procedures for representations related to standby mode and off mode energy consumption as of July 17, 2013. The methods to conduct the test procedure are further specified in 10 CFR Part 430, Subpart B, Appendix I. This information is also in the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. Because there are currently no energy conservation standards for microwave ovens, manufacturers are not required to use the test procedure to determine compliance with DOE standards at this time.

  • Final Rule: Test Procedure, Federal Register, 78 FR 4015 (January 18, 2013)
  • Docket No. EERE-2008-BT-TP-0011 contains all notices, public comments, public meeting transcripts, and supporting documents

For further guidance or to submit questions related to the implementation of this test procedure, visit the Guidance and Frequently Asked Questions page.

Waivers, Exceptions, and Exemptions


Test procedure waivers have not been issued for microwave ovens.

For information about obtaining test procedure waivers, see 10 CFR 430.27.


DOE's Office of Hearings and Appeals has not authorized exception relief for microwave ovens.

For information about obtaining exception relief, see 10 CFR part 1003.

Because there are no energy conservation standards for microwave ovens, the provisions of 10 CFR part 430 and part 1003 that apply to state exemptions to Federal pre-emption and small business exemptions are not relevant.

Statutory Authority

Energy conservation standards for microwave ovens are mandated by Part A, the "Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products Other Than Automobiles" of Title III of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA), as amended. (42 U.S.C. 6291–6309) These appliances are treated as covered products under Part A. (42 U.S.C. 6292(10))

Historical Information

Currently there are no energy conservation standards for microwave ovens. DOE determined in April 8, 2009 final rule for cooking products that such standards would not be technologically feasible and economically justified at that time. A test procedure final rule was published March 9, 2011.

Previous Standards

2009 Final Rule

1998 Final Rule

Previous Test Procedures

2011 Interim Final Rule

2010 Repeal of Active Mode Test Procedure

1997 Final Rule

Helpful Links and Contact Information

Helpful Links

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Contact information

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