The Department of Energy proposed new efficiency standards for home appliances it says will save users $3.5 billion per year and reduce carbon pollution over the next 30 years by about the annual equivalent of 29 million homes. The innovation resulting from stronger efficiency standards are projected to save users about $295 over the life of a washing machine and $130 over the life of a new fridge. DOE has increased efficiency standards for refrigerators three times over the last 50 years and a typical refrigerator now uses 75% less electricity. The appliances covered by the proposal, including refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers and freezers and for top-loading and front-loading residential clothes washers, account for about 8% of U.S. residential electricity use. (Washington Post $, The Hill, Politico Pro $)