By Marianne DiMascio, State Policy Manager,
Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP)
As much of the United States continues to suffer from drought and extreme heat, five states have adopted energy- and water-saving appliance standards since late March, a rapid series of victories for consumers, businesses, and the climate. The new state laws in Maine, Massachusetts, Nevad
a, Oregon, and Rhode Island will require minimum energy- and water-use efficiency levels for more than 15 types of products including air purifiers, computers, and restaurant equipment. The standards will reduce utility bills and carbon dioxide emissions, bringing each state closer to meeting their climate goals.
This year’s momentum builds on other recent victories, with 11 jurisdictions in total—also including California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Vermont, and Washington—adopting standards since 2018. And legislation is still pending in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Despite this progress, more states need to cut emissions and pave the path for new national standards that deliver even larger reductions in climate-warming emissions.
State and federal standards work in concert
Historically, state standards have been the impetus for federal action. Standards for most of the roughly 60 products regulated at the federal level started out in the states. While states take the lead in creating standards for products that are not yet included in the federal program, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is working to catch up on a backlog of reviews of existing federal standards inherited from the prior administration to make sure they are keeping pace with efficiency improvements…
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