Environment Massachusetts partners in national effort for carbon-cutting appliance energy standards

For Immediate Release

Boston – Environment Massachusetts is joining a national coalition of environmental and consumer groups to press for updated appliance efficiency standards.

As part of a nine-state push, the organization is urging the Massachusetts Legislature to adopt new appliance efficiency standards on 17 products, including commercial dishwashers, commercial fryers, water coolers and faucets. The new guidelines would significantly reduce energy use, subsequently lowering climate altering carbon dioxide pollution, saving water resources and decreasing air quality pollutants.

Adopting the recommended standards in Massachusetts would annually prevent 159 thousand metric tons of climate-altering carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere -- the equivalent of taking over 34,500 cars off of the road each year. The standards would also prevent pollution from nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide.

“Appliance efficiency standards are a sensible and significant way to improve the health of both people and the planet,” said Ben Hellerstein, State Director for Environment Massachusetts. “Applying these common-sense measures will take a big bite out of pollution by reducing the amount of unnecessary energy wasted by common products.”

These standards would result in annual savings of approximately 396 gigawatts of electricity in Massachusetts by 2025, according to the Appliance Standards Awareness Project, a national organization working to advance, win and defend new efficiency standards for appliances, equipment and lighting. That’s enough to power over 38,000 average U.S households for a year, according to Environment Massachusetts calculations.

Annual water savings are estimated to be 3,667 million gallons by 2025, enough to meet the annual water consumption needs of over 33,000 average U.S. households. In addition, by 2025 this measure will save Bay Staters $145 million dollars per year.

“Efficiency standards ensure that the products we purchase use less energy and water while preserving quality and affordability,” said Representative Josh Cutler (D-Duxbury) who filed the Massachusetts Energy Savings and Efficiency Act. “It’s a win for our pocketbooks and for our planet."

Along with the legislation pending in Massachusetts, a bill has been filed in Washington for the upcoming legislative session. Advocates in other states, including Colorado, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Oregon, are working to adopt similar standards.

“History shows that once a number of states adopt energy-saving standards like these, the rest of the country follows,” Hellerstein added. “We look forward to working with other states to leverage the tremendous benefits of these standards nationwide."