Pennsylvania Legislators Take Action on Appliance Energy Efficiency Standards

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PENNSYLVANIA — State Representatives Jennifer O’Mara (Delaware County) and Tom Mehaffie (Dauphin County) have partnered with State Senator Lindsey Williams (Allegheny County) to announce their introduction of statewide energy efficiency standards for a set of commonly used appliances in the Commonwealth.

“As rising utility costs continue to hit Pennsylvania families, we need to tackle this problem from every angle—and that includes making sure that our appliances are as efficient as possible,” said Senator Lindsey Williams. “Replacing older appliances with new, efficient and effective models will not only save our families on their gas, electric, and water bills every year, but it will help protect the environment by reducing the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere. It’s really a win-win for everyone.”

“Increasing energy efficiency greatly benefits our environment without interrupting our daily lives, said Representative Jennifer O’Mara. If the appliances we use every day simply produce less energy, we can minimize our carbon footprint while protecting good-paying jobs, cutting costs for consumers and combating climate change. This bill is a great example of how we can all agree and work together to create a more sustainable future and improve our commonwealth’s environmental health.”

“I hear every week from my friends and neighbors that skyrocketing utility bills are devastating their home budgets, said Representative Tom Mehaffie. Appliances with greatly increased efficiency can help our households use less energy overall, which can reduce those bills and ease the stress on families.”

The forthcoming bills in the House and Senate would set efficiency standards for 18 different household and commercial appliances. These standards, if enacted, would save the state’s residents and businesses hundreds of millions of dollars and cut climate pollution by hundreds of thousands of tons every year.

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“The cleanest, cheapest energy is the energy that you don’t need to use in the first place. That’s why energy efficiency standards are so valuable,” said Flora Cardoni, PennEnvironment’s field director. “Small but mighty, appliance efficiency standards are a simple way to reduce energy consumption, lower pollution, and generate huge savings for Pennsylvania consumers and businesses.”

Research estimates that the efficiency standards being proposed this week would deliver the following benefits statewide by 2030:

  • Reduce global warming carbon emissions in Pennsylvania by 356,000 metric tons each year.

  • Save consumers $248 million on their utilities each year by 2030, with an increase of savings to $512 million annually by 2040.

  • Save 6.9 billion gallons of water annually.

  • Conserve 668 gigawatt hours of electricity per year– that’s enough energy to power more than 59,000 homes!

Nearly 100 organizations have voiced support for this commonsense policy, including Vote Solar, Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, and Physicians for Social Responsibility Pennsylvania. And 83% of registered voters support setting stronger efficiency standards for appliances.

“It makes no sense for us to continue using energy-wasting technologies when we can replace them with clean, efficient appliances that lower emissions, improve public health and lower utility bills. And efficient appliances aren’t foreign products by any stretch — they are already commonly bought and sold on the market,” said Cardoni. “Let’s make sure Pennsylvania is a part of the movement to embrace products that protect our planet and our pocketbooks.”

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