The Appliance Efficiency Photographic Collection consists of images documenting the testing of household appliances at the National Bureau of Standards (NBS). Items tested included ranges, laundry appliances, and water heaters. NBS developed test procedures to calculate household appliance efficiency and operating costs to help the Federal Energy Administration (FEA) meet its responsibilities under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (1975). The Act required the FEA (predecessor of the Department of Energy) to develop procedures to test the energy efficiency of certain appliances, set energy efficiency targets for appliances, and monitor effort by manufacturers to improve efficiency. As a result, since the late 1980s, consumers have been able to look at numbers on yellow stickers and quickly compare the operating costs of appliances they are considering buying. Much of the data gathered by NBS was also used by manufacturers to improve the design efficiency of appliances.
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