Democratic News

Bill To Boost Efficiency Of Major Consumer Products
Bill Also Saves Consumers Money, Avoids Patchwork Regulations
Chairman Bingaman this week introduced legislation to strengthen and improve energy efficiency standards for a wide range of consumer products.  The benefits of the Implementation of National Consensus Appliance Agreements Act of 2010 (S. 398) include a reduction in the regulatory burden on appliance manufacturers, increasing their profitability and their ability to protect and create jobs; energy and water savings to make our nation’s economy more efficient and competitive; a reduction in the environmental impacts of energy production; and consumer savings for virtually every household in America.
The 116-page bill is an updated version of the appliance standards legislation that the Senate nearly passed at the end of the last Congress.  It will increase efficiency standards for such energy-intensive products as furnaces, air conditioners, heat pumps, refrigerators, freezers, clothes washers and dryers, and dishwashers.  It also would create new standards for certain outdoor lighting, pool heaters, drinking water dispensers, commercial food cabinets and several other smaller product classes.  The legislation has no cost and is not expected to score.
The bill includes several consensus agreements negotiated between appliance manufacturers, energy efficiency advocates and consumer groups.  Provisions in this bill were originally included in the American Clean Energy Leadership Act (ACELA), in amendments to ACELA that the Committee later reported, and in provisions from more recently concluded agreements.
Sen. Bingaman (D-NM):  “Greater energy efficiency saves consumers money, strengthens our economy, enhances our national security, creates jobs, and reduces environmental impacts.  No single program or policy is going to completely end our nation’s waste of energy or restore our economic competitiveness, but increased energy efficiency through cost-effective energy standards for appliances and consumer products remains one of the most powerful tools for meeting these goals.”
Federal energy efficiency standards continue to be critical to reducing the regulatory burden on this sector of the domestic manufacturing industry by pre-empting a patchwork of state standards with a single Federal standard. This regulatory streamlining will enhance industry competitiveness, profitability and ability to protect and create jobs.
By 2030, it is estimated that the enhancements contained in this bill would save over 850 trillion Btu of energy annually – enough to meet the energy needs of 4.6 million typical American homes.  For comparison, the states of Utah and Connecticut each used just over 800 trillion Btu of energy in 2008.  The bill also would save consumers an estimated $43 billion in reduced energy costs by 2030, creating tens of thousands of jobs as these savings are spent or invested in other ways.  Finally, the new law would improve the environment by saving 5 trillion gallons of water and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 47 million metric tons each year by 2030.
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