Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-CA) introduced the Energy Efficient Appliances Act, which will improve federal energy efficiency standards for a wide range of appliances, reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions, and save consumers and businesses money.
“Improving our nation’s energy efficiency is one of our most cost-effective tools to address the climate crisis. As a member of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, I am committed to pushing for policy solutions that are both good for the climate and protect consumers,” said Congresswoman Julia Brownley. “The improvements to energy efficiency standards in my bill will yield significant cost savings and emissions reductions, making the legislation a true win-win.”
This bill would make a number of important reforms to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s efficiency standards program, including:
- Repealing Trump Administration’s regulations intended to undermine the integrity of DOE’s process for developing energy efficiency standards.
- Allowing states to set higher standards than the national standard when DOE misses statutory deadlines for issuing new or revised standards.
- Expanding the pool of products for which DOE may issue standards.
- Reducing the lead time for when standards must come into effect, generally to a maximum of three years.
- Giving explicit authority to DOE that it can evaluate more than just one efficiency metric when measuring a product’s performance.
Since 1987, Congress has directed the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to set and regularly update efficiency standards for more than 50 products. These standards have led to tremendous financial savings for consumers and to major reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
In fact, according to the Appliance Standards Awareness Project, consumers and businesses saved $80 billion on utility bills in 2015 alone due to the efficiency standards on the books. The average annual savings per household are about $500. National electricity savings equaled about 13 percent of total U.S. electricity consumption in 2015. According to the DOE, by 2030, the U.S. will have avoided more than 7 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions because of these efficiency standards.
Unfortunately, the Trump Administration worked to undermine DOE’s efficiency standards program. From issuing regulations meant to interfere with the process, to slow-walking the revision of existing standards that are well-past due for review, the past four years have demonstrated a clear need for Congress to step in and reform what isn’t working as intended.
Read the text of the bill, here.