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House Environment Committee passes bill to increase energy-saving standards for common products

Policy would cut carbon pollution by 176 thousand metric tons
For Immediate Release

Olympia, WA — Today, the House Environment Committee passed HB 1444, which would adopt appliance efficiency standards on 17 consumer products, including commercial dishwashers, commercial fryers, water coolers and faucets. The new standards would reduce customers’ utility bills, cut climate altering carbon dioxide pollution and smog forming emissions, and save water resources. Following is the statement of Environment Washington Director Bruce Speight:

“Energy efficiency is the best climate solution you’ve never heard of. Appliance efficiency standards are a sensible and significant way to improve the health of both people and the planet. Applying these common-sense measures will take a big bite out of pollution by reducing the amount of unnecessary energy wasted by common products.

Energy efficiency receives broad public support, and these appliance standards offer a win-win opportunity. Consumers will pay less for their energy needs, while cutting down on dangerous chemicals that severely endanger our communities and climate. This legislative session provides us with the perfect opportunity to take action.”

Adopting 17 recommended standards in Washington would result in annual savings of approximately 544 gigawatts of electricity by 2025. That is enough to power 52,312 average U.S. homes for a year, according to Environment Washington calculations.

Annual water savings are estimated to be 6,818 million gallons by 2025, enough to meet the annual water consumption needs of 62,264 average U.S. households. In addition, by 2025 this measure will save Washington consumers $134 million annually on utility bills, according to the Appliance Standards Awareness Project, a national organization working to advance, win and defend new efficiency standards for appliances, equipment and lighting. In addition, the policy would require new electric storage water heaters to be grid-ready, setting the stage for even more savings and an important step toward a clean energy future.

The recommended standards would annually prevent 176 thousand metric tons of climate-altering carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere -- the equivalent of taking more than 38,000 cars off of the road each year. The standards would also prevent pollution from nitrogen oxide (smog-causing pollution) and sulfur dioxide (a fine particulate pollution).

The companion bill in the Senate, SB 5115, has passed the Senate Energy, Environment and Technology Committee and is currently before the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

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Environment Washington is a statewide, membership-based environmental advocacy organization. www.environmentwashington.org.