Assembly passes bipartisan bill to save New Jerseyan’s money on utility bills
TRENTON, NJ (May 20, 2021) — Today’s passage by the Assembly is New Jersey’s first legislative update to appliance efficiency standards in 15 years could save consumers $132 million annually in utility bills by 2026 and reduce air pollution.
Assembly Bill 5160 passed with bipartisan support by a vote of 50:24:2. The measure covers 17 residential and commercial appliances, ranging from specific lighting products and showerheads to commercial fryers and faucets. Companion legislation, Senate Bill 3324, sponsored by State Sen. Bob Smith (D) and State Sen. Kip Bateman (R), passed the State Senate Environment Committee in March.
“The cheapest and cleanest energy is the energy you don’t use, and through energy efficiency, we will save New Jersey families and businesses money,” said Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo, Chair of the Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee and Prime Sponsor of A5160. “I’m proud to see this bipartisan move and urge the Senate to swiftly send it to Governor Murphy’s desk.”
“Ensuring that New Jersey homes and businesses are using energy-efficient products benefits the environment and saves consumers money,” said Assemblyman Herb Conaway Jr. “This common-sense solution is a win-win as New Jersey seeks to achieve 100 percent carbon-neutral energy by 2050.”
“Removing less efficient products from the marketplace is a win-win for everyone,” said Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker. “This common-sense policy reduces consumer and business energy costs. For consumers, this means more savings and more money in their pocket. For businesses, increased energy and cost savings allow for reinvestment in their facilities and workforce. This low-cost, high impact legislation is an important part of addressing climate change.”
If this bill was implemented in 2021, nearly $132 million will be saved in utility bills annually by 2026, with that number rising to nearly $400 million annually by 2035, according to research by the Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP), a national organization that works with businesses, environmental organizations and manufacturers for energy efficiency. Seven states have recently passed similar legislation, with over 10 others in the process.
“New Jersey is one step closer to helping New Jersey families and businesses save nearly $130 million on their utility bills by passing the updated appliance standards bill,” said Henry Gajda, Public Policy Director, New Jersey League of Conservation Voters. “Clean energy, energy efficiency, and cost savings go hand-in-hand. The updated appliance standards bill is a perfect example of that. We thank Assemblyman DeAngelo for his continued leadership in making New Jersey a leader in energy efficiency and climate action, and urge the Senate to swiftly move this bill to make these cost savings a reality for New Jerseyans.”
The legislation doesn’t require consumers and businesses to buy new products. It simply gives everyone more energy-efficient choices when it’s time to replace old appliances by raising existing standards to remove less efficient products.
“More efficient appliances throughout New Jersey will consume less energy leading to reduced carbon pollution and lower costs for families,” said Dr. Catherine Chen, a Somerset physician and member of NJ Clinicians for Climate Action. “This legislation really makes sense. It’s every bit as important as other steps New Jersey is taking to address climate change and protect the health and well-being of all New Jerseyans.”