New Legislation Would Save Appliance-Users Money and Reduce Pollution

Updated standards are the “best energy, water and climate policy you’ve never heard of”

TRENTON, NJ (January 14, 2021)— New Jersey would, for the first time since 2005, update standards aimed at removing the least cost-efficient, energy-guzzling appliances from the market, under two bills introduced today in the Senate and Assembly.

Senate Bill 3324 sponsored by Senator Bob Smith (D) and Assembly Bill 5160, co-sponsored by Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo (D) and Assemblyman Herb Conaway Jr (D) would cover 17 residential and commercial appliances, ranging from lamps and shower heads to commercial fryers and faucets. Updating the standards will mean products purchased in New Jersey will use less energy and water, with no loss of quality and affordability.

The legislation does not require consumers or businesses to buy new products. It simply gives everyone more energy-efficient choices by raising existing standards to remove less efficient products.

“Energy efficiency is the low hanging fruit of sustainability and we are going to save people a lot of money with less impact on global climate change,” said Senator Smith.

With a compliance year of 2023, New Jersey consumers will save $132 million a year in utility bills by 2026, rising to nearly $400 million a year in 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.

“The cleanest energy in the world is the energy you don’t use,” said Assemblyman DeAngelo . “This bill updates our state’s efficiency standards to make sure that New Jerseyans and businesses have access to state-of-the-art appliances that help them save money and the environment.”

“Updating appliance efficiency standards is a win-win for New Jersey,” said Henry Gajda, Policy Director for New Jersey LCV. “It will save businesses and residents money, especially those with the highest energy burdens, and help reduce emissions, which is essential to effectively combat the climate crisis. We thank Senator Smith and Assemblymen DeAngelo and Conaway Jr. for their leadership in driving this common-sense legislation forward and making New Jersey a national leader in energy efficiency.”

“Sponsors of this legislation are working for healthier communities,” said Jessica Wolff, US Climate Program Director, Healthcare without Harm. “In 2015 alone, appliance standards helped avoid emissions of 300 million tons of carbon dioxide nationwide, which is the equivalent to the annual CO2 emissions from about 63 million automobiles, according to ASAP.”

By adopting this legislation, New Jersey would join seven states — California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, New York, Vermont and Washington — that enacted new standards in the past two years. In another 13 states, including Pennsylvania, efforts toward standards are underway. Failing to update its standards could make New Jersey a dumping ground for energy inefficient appliances whose manufacturers can’t sell them in a neighboring state.

“This bill offers consumers better choices,” said Emma Horst-Martz, NJPIRG Advocate. “Once your air purifier or lamp reaches the end of its life, you replace it with one that meets the energy efficiency standards. With state appliance efficiency standards, we all win. Energy use goes down, consumers and businesses save money, and less greenhouse gasses and other pollutants are released into the air.”

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