US Appliance Standards Save Billions
Vermont -- the 50th most populous state -- saves millions of dollars, gallons of water and tons of carbon through appliance standards.
|VERMONT APPLIANCE STANDARDS|
|Vermont Firsts||Existing Standards|
|a type fluorescent tube lighting that closes a loophole||computers and computer monitors|
|three additional types of commercial kitchen equipment||faucets|
|residential ventilation fans||showerheads|
|spray sprinkler bodies||urinals|
|portable electric spas|
|hot food holding cabinets|
Vermont’s new efficiency appliance standards reduce the amount of electricity needed to power the state, which results in a huge savings of water, carbon and money. By reducing energy use, the bill saves significant amounts of oil, propane, and natural gas used to generate electricity. Vermont Governor Phil Scott signed 16 new state appliance efficiency standards into law on May 21, making the Green Mountain state the first to enact ASAP.gov (Appliance Standards Awareness Project) current set of recommended state standards. House Bill H.410, introduced by Representative Marcia Gardner and championed by Representative Curtis McCormack and Senators Christopher Bray and Christopher Pearson, passed with strong support from Republican, Democratic, and Independent Vermont lawmakers.
A significant share of the projected savings will come from reducing hot water waste. Past state standards have, in many cases, paved the way for national standards for the affected products.
Keeping the Heat on the Federal Government
Vermont Rep. Curtis McCormack sees the new standards as a way of building on Federal standards that the current administration has rolled back. Three of the new Vermont standards are identical to federal standards that the Trump administration has refused to implement (they were completed at the end of the Obama administration). Eleven states, including Vermont, are currently suing the US Department of Energy to force implementation of these standards (covering air compressors, portable air conditioners, and uninterruptible power supplies). Now Vermont has upped the ante by adopting the three withheld federal standards into state law.
“The primary purpose of this whole legislation is to influence the federal government to set national standards. It doesn’t take very many states before industry wants the same standards nationwide for ease of selling and distributing these products. We get an amazing amount of energy savings when these standards go national.”
The savings from Vermont’s new standards will build on the benefits already being delivered to all Americans by the current federal efficiency standards, according to ASAP's Chris Granda, which save Vermont households and businesses $190 million annually, and avoid 340,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions. In the face of recent federal inaction, Vermont and other states are stepping forward to ensure continued progress in efficiency standards.
Together, the two bills cover most of the provisions included in ASAP’s model state energy efficiency standards legislation. As the first state to enact the recommended standards, Vermont’s experience provides a template for similar legislation being considered in other states, including Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The Vermont legislature and Governor Scott deserve credit for passing common sense energy efficiency standards that save energy and water, save consumers money, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.