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.
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.
Oregon is set to become the second state this year to adopt energy-saving efficiency standards for a suite of household and commercial products following a successful vote in the state senate today. HB 2062 now heads to the desk of Governor Kate Brown, and she is expected to sign the bill, given that it originated in a 2020 executive order she issued.
With the Biden administration in its second month, we have already seen its interest in strengthening the energy-saving standards that cover dozens of household and commercial products, such as furnaces, refrigerators, and light bulbs. The new administration has staffed up with climate and clean energy leaders and initiated work to undo the previous administration’s slew of harmful rules.