Bingaman on Appliance Standards

March 19, 2009
05:43 PM
“I welcome my colleagues and our witnesses today to this hearing on legislation to strengthen two programs that are central to improving the nation’s efficient use of energy: the DOE appliance standards program, and the joint DOE-EPA Energy Star program.
“It is estimated that these programs have reduced national electrical demand to about 10 percent below what it would have been absent the programs.  Net savings to consumers are estimated at over $400 billion dollars.
“Notwithstanding this success, energy efficiency continues to be the most cost-effective strategy for enhancing economic and energy security, saving consumers money, and reducing the environmental impacts of energy production.
“S. 598, the bill we are focusing on today, would help to achieve these goals by expanding the standards program and by making several operational improvements.  For example, S. 598 would establish federal standards for table and floor lamps.  This provision alone is expected to save enough electricity by 2020 to serve 350,000 homes. 
“I understand that the witnesses will have recommendations to establish standards for additional products and to improve program operations and decision-making.  I look forward to working with Senator Murkowski, in considering these recommendations and moving forward on this bill. 
“I am sorry that the Committee is unable to accommodate all of the requests to testify, but I assure you that the input of all stakeholders is appreciated.  All written statements will be made a part of the record, and members or staff will be available to follow-up on your ideas and concerns.
“I recognize the vital role that energy efficiency advocates and industry associations play in these programs.  I thank you for your commitment to improving the nation’s economic and energy security.”
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