Contact: Henry Gajda
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Senate committee OKs Bill to Save Appliance-users Money and Reduce Pollution
Committee’s bipartisan 4-1 vote signals next step in Significant Cost Savings to New Jerseyans
TRENTON, NJ (March 5, 2021) — The State Senate Environment Committee today approved New Jersey’s first update to appliance energy standards in 15 years. Senate Bill 3324, which passed with bipartisan support with a vote of 4-1, covers 17 residential and commercial appliances, ranging from lamps and shower heads to commercial fryers and faucets. Committee members approving the bill were Senators Bob Smith (D), Kip Bateman (R), Richard Codey (D) and Linda Greenstein (D). Sen. Kristin Corrado (R) voted against.
The bipartisan bill, sponsored by Senator Bob Smith (D) and Senator Kip Bateman (R), and cosponsored by Senators Loretta Weinberg (D) and Patrick Diegnan (D), would have New Jersey join eight states that enacted new standards on a bipartisan basis in the past two years. In another 13 states, including Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Maryland, efforts toward standards are underway.
"The cheapest energy is the energy you don't use, and appliance standards reflect the low-hanging fruit of energy savings that we can achieve through increased efficiency," said Henry Gajda, Public Policy Director of New Jersey LCV. "We are grateful for the leadership of Senator Smith and Senator Bateman in driving forward this common-sense, bipartisan legislation that can save New Jerseyans $132 million a year."
Companion legislation, sponsored by Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo (D), Herb Conaway Jr (D), and Andrew Zwicker (D), was approved last week in the Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee.
"Updated appliance standards are an effective way to save energy, water, and money for consumers and businesses. That's why eight states have updated their appliance standards since 2017 and another dozen are considering legislation now." said John Carlson, Manager of State Policy at Ceres. "New Jersey should adopt S3324 without delay to ensure continued savings and emissions reductions."
Failing to update its standards could make New Jersey a dumping ground for energy inefficient appliances whose manufacturers can’t sell them in a neighboring state.
The legislation does not require consumers or businesses to buy new products. It simply gives everyone more energy-efficient choices by raising existing standards to remove less efficient products.
Cost savings are also at stake, 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.