Contact: Henry Gajda
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Assembly Committee Approves Bill to Save Appliance-Users Money and Reduce Pollution
Committee’s vote could save New Jerseyans $132 million a year in utility bills by 2026
TRENTON, NJ (February 25, 2021)— The Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee today approved New Jersey’s first update to appliance energy standards in 15 years. Assembly Bill 5160 covers 17 residential and commercial appliances, ranging from lamps and shower heads to commercial fryers and faucets.
Advocates refer to the measure — sponsored by Assemblymen Wayne DeAngelo (D), Herb Conaway Jr (D), and Andrew Zwicker (D) – as the “best energy, water and climate policy you’ve never heard of,” and urge legislatures to support the common-sense policy.
Companion legislation has also been introduced in the Senate by State Sen. Bob Smith (D), Senate Bill 3324.
"This bill is a no-brainer. The cleanest and cheapest energy is the energy we don't use. By updating appliance efficiency standards, we can save New Jerseyans nearly $132 million a year - not to mention the significant amount of water saved and air pollution avoided," said Henry Gajda, Public Policy Director, New Jersey LCV. "We thank Chairman DeAngelo for his continued environmental leadership and urge Speaker Coughlin to swiftly post this bill in Assembly Appropriations."
"This bill is a perfect example of the type of common-sense legislation that we need for New Jersey to build back better," said Richard Lawton, Executive Director of the NJ Sustainable Business Council. "Increasing efficiency standards is a low-cost, high impact way to stimulate new investment and innovation aimed at creating products that will use energy and water resources more sustainably, while also lowering costs for businesses and consumers."
With a compliance year of 2023, New Jersey consumers will save $132 million a year in utility bills by 2026, rising to nearly $400 million a year in 2035, according to research by the Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP), a national organization that works with businesses, environmental organizations and manufacturers for energy efficiency. Eight states have recently passed similar legislation with more in the process.
“Not only will these standards save energy and money, but they will also send a clear signal about New Jersey’s business-friendly environment for energy efficiency and entice companies to expand their operations to the Garden State," said Leann Leiter, Director of Policy and Research at the Energy Efficiency Alliance of New Jersey.
“Reduced emissions, better air quality, enhanced health, and significant cost savings are all benefits New Jersey will see from adopting new appliance standards. And, since most of the products in the bill have no higher upfront prices, the energy cost savings will be enjoyed immediately,” said Trina Malik, Climate Change and Energy Policy Manager, The Nature Conservancy. “With the least efficient appliances taken out of the market and no mandatory date for appliance replacement, consumers will not experience any disruptions. We thank Assemblyman DeAngelo for his leadership in championing appliance standards in New Jersey.”
Under the legislation, replacing appliances would not be mandatory. When an appliance that falls under one of the 17 covered categories fails, consumers and businesses would simply replace them with models that meet the new standards – because that is what stores will be selling.
"New Jersey is hustling to meet its ambitious climate targets," said Eric Miller, NJ Energy Policy Director for the Natural Resources Defense Council. "By ensuring that inefficient appliances are no longer sold in the state, this bill will reduce emissions of carbon and harmful air pollution, while at the same time lowering energy bills for New Jersey's customers."