Multi-State Coalition Wins Federal Commitment
To Strengthen Key Energy-Efficiency Standards
Connecticut, as part of a multi-state coalition, has reached agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on a new timetable for updating overdue energy-efficiency standards for certain new appliances and equipment, Attorney General George Jepsen and Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Daniel C. Esty announced today.
The federal Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) requires DOE to periodically review and revise energy efficiency standards on consumer and commercial products that use large amounts of energy. The goal is maximum possible efficiency.
The agreement sets deadlines for new standards on four categories of high energy-demand products: walk-in coolers and freezers, metal halide lamps, electric motors and commercial refrigeration equipment. DOE had missed previous legal deadlines and updated standards for that equipment are now seven to 18 months overdue.
“This agreement recognizes energy efficiency as an important step to reducing not only energy bills for residential and commercial customers, but also the air and water pollution generated by utility plants to produce that energy,” said Attorney General George Jepsen. “We will be monitoring closely DOE’s progress toward meeting these new goals.”
Commissioner Esty said, “We applaud the DOE’s willingness to work with Connecticut and other states to put new efficiency standards in place for various equipment and appliances to reduce power demands, energy costs and pollution. That’s why energy efficiency is at the heart of Governor Malloy's Comprehensive Energy Strategy to bring cheaper, cleaner, and more reliable energy to our state.”
DOE committed to issuing proposed standards this month for metal halide lamp fixtures, commercial refrigeration equipment and walk-in coolers and freezers, and in November for electric motors. The rules will be finalized between January and May, 2014.
The coalition reserves the right to take legal action under EPCA to compel DOE to update the standards if the department fails to meet any of the deadlines in the agreement.
The coalition includes the Attorneys General of nine states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Maryland, Oregon and Washington, as well as the California Energy Commission and the City of New York. New York led the effort.
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) calculates that updating energy efficiency standards for the four classes of appliances would eliminate 2.2 million metric tons of air pollution and save utility consumers $156 million each month on energy costs.
Assistant Attorney General Robert Snook is assisting the Attorney General in this matter, with Associate Attorney General Joseph Rubin.