Chairman Smith and Committee Members:
New Jersey LCV is the statewide political voice for the environment in New Jersey. We represent democratic, republican, and independent voters who elect environmentally responsible candidates to state and local offices, advocate for strong environmental policies and hold our elected officials accountable to safeguard the health of our communities, the beauty of our state, and the strength of our economy.
Thank you, Chairman Smith and the Committee, for hearing S3324, and thank you for your leadership in spearheading this common-sense legislation to save New Jerseyan’s and our businesses money. New Jersey LCV strongly supports S3324.
Considered the “best energy, water, climate policy you’ve never heard of,” appliance efficiency standards work by removing the least efficient, most energy-guzzling and water wasting options from the market. New Jersey’s standards for specific products have not been updated legislatively since 2005. And the longer we wait, the more money we are wasting. For example, according to the Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP), if NJ adopted updated standards in 2021, the benefits achieved by 2026, could amount to annual savings of $132 million for ratepayers, with these savings growing to $392 million annually by 2035; electricity used by 32,000 New Jersey homes; natural gas consumption of nearly 21,000 NJ homes; water consumption of 72,000 NJ homes, and; emissions from about 38,000 cars.
More importantly – most products don’t have any increase in upfront cost, those that do have a quick payback period, and nearly have all have at least 50% market share – and that’s because they are already widely bought and sold – meaning you can go to a Home Depot or your corner hardware store and buy the more efficient product. But if we look at one product of the seventeen in the bill – air purifiers – a product that we’ve seen some pushback on in other states like Connecticut. The more efficient versions are the same price, but can save owners $30 a year in their utility bills. During COVID, think about schools as they try and put one or two air purifiers in each room throughout a school. With 30 classrooms– that’s nearly $2,000 in savings - that can buy books and supplies for our schools. In addition, suppliers and retailers won’t have to face additional financial pressures from sunken costs on wasted stock. Based on our reading of the bill – once signed into law and after codes and standards are put in place, that can be nearly 2 years from now before the more efficient versions are required to be sold. That should be plenty of time to clear existing stock and procure the standard-meeting products.
Lastly, there is a real concern if New Jersey doesn’t update our standards. As states around us move forward – eight states have already passed similar legislation on a bipartisan basis - and New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Maryland are all moving forward – we can become the dumping group of the less efficient products. This can lead to higher energy bills for all rate payers, especially our low-income families of color and renters, who spend a highest percentage of their income on utility bills - families that are just trying to keep the lights on and keep their home warm.
By updating appliance standards, legislative leaders and advocates can drive smart, pragmatic climate action and save families and businesses $132 million by updating New Jersey’s efficiency standards. It is a win-win, high-impact legislative proposal perfect for this moment and that is why New Jersey LCV urges you to vote YES on S3324. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your time.