More than 40% of the way through this presidential term, the Biden administration has a long way to go on updating appliance efficiency standards.
If the Department of Energy (DOE) updates standards for 50 products by the end of this term, it can avert 3 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions while saving households $230 annually on utility bills.
California has just adopted a law this week phasing out most fluorescent light bulb sales in favor of LEDs by 2025—a move that will save households and businesses billions of dollars on utility bills while reducing mercury pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. The law—the second such policy in the country—could help guide the way for other states to transition away from fluorescents.
The New York legislature last night passed a sweeping bill to slash climate-change emissions and save New Yorkers hundreds of millions of dollars annually on their utility bills by requiring appliances to be more energy efficient. The bill, the most expansive of any recently passed by a state, now goes to Governor Kathy Hochul for her signature.
Rising energy bills, a war that reinforces the costs of an economy dependent on globally traded fossil fuels, the climate crisis—each requires aggressive deployment of proven policies that curb energy waste. Appliance efficiency standards fit the bill, and the Biden administration has big ambitions.
Momentum for states adopting appliance efficiency standards has not slowed down following a banner year in 2021. In the last five months, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland, Oregon, Washington have adopted or implemented appliance standards while New York, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut still have standards under consideration.
Amid the increase in devastating weather events linked to climate change, the New Jersey legislature adopted an appliance efficiency bill yesterday that would reduce annual statewide climate change emissions by 178,000 metric tons per year by 2026, the equivalent emissions of 72,000 cars. The adoption of efficiency standards is a helpful step toward meeting the state’s goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030.
As much of the United States continues to suffer from drought and extreme heat, five states have adopted energy- and water-saving appliance standards since late March, a rapid series of victories for consumers, businesses, and the climate.