Recently, a federal appeals court decided that a Bush Administration plan to increase fuel efficiency standards for heat pumps and central air conditioners by 20 percent was not enough, and that  30 percent would be more to its liking.  But according to Jerry Taylor of the Cato Institute, this new standard is hardly a victory for consumers.  To begin with, the price of an average AC unit will increase by more than 100 dollars, yet 40 percent of consumers will never save enough on their energy bills to offest the cost.  When you also consider that a so-called “rebound effect” from higher efficiency standards will likely negate any actual energy savings, this new AC deal sounds like more chilling news for consumers.

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