Nevada cemented its leadership on appliance energy efficiency standards this month as Governor Steve Sisolak signed Assembly Bill 383 into law. The new law will save state residents and businesses millions of dollars while reducing harmful air pollutants and fighting climate change.
The law will cut energy and water waste by setting efficiency standards for 13 household and commercial products sold in Nevada. Notably, the state became the first to adopt efficiency standards covering the sale of air purifiers and gas fireplaces (Washington, DC, has also adopted a standard for air purifiers).
The law also empowers the Governor’s Office of Energy to adopt grid-connectivity standards for appliances. This could result in energy-intensive appliances like water heaters and air conditioners being sold with standardized, built-in communications ports, allowing the appliance to wirelessly communicate with electric utilities. This connectivity can help consumers save money by helping them use energy at times of lower demand on the grid and avoid costly energy from times of peak demand.
We estimate that in 2025 alone the new efficiency standards will save Nevada consumers $7 million in reduced utility bills. Those savings are expected to increase to $29 million annually by 2035. Additionally, reduced energy waste helps cut harmful air pollutants. By 2035, the standards are expected to keep enough carbon dioxide emissions out of the atmosphere to equal taking about 29,000 cars off the road annually.
AB 383 was championed by Assemblyman Howard Watts, who continued his successful efforts to improve Nevada’s energy and water efficiency after sponsoring two bills in 2019 that also set product efficiency standards. Those bills covered products including light bulbs, showerheads, and faucets. In a press release, Assemblyman Watts stated, “Energy efficiency is one of the most common-sense options to address climate change while saving money for our families and businesses. I am excited to see Nevada take the lead in establishing energy efficiency standards for appliances. We are setting an example for other states and the federal government to follow.”
During Governor Sisolak’s administration, Nevada has continually risen in the ACEEE State Energy Efficiency Scorecard rankings, even claiming the title of “Most Improved” in the 2020 Scorecard. Nevada’s 2020 State Climate Strategy specified appliance efficiency standards as a policy area where the state could make gains—and now the legislature and governor have delivered.