– Attorney General Stuart Rabner today
announced that the federal Department of
Energy (DOE) will set new standards to sharply
increase the energy efficiency of many types
of domestic appliances, such as home ranges
and ovens, air conditioners and dishwashers.
The action resolves a federal lawsuit against
DOE brought by New Jersey and 14 other states,
the City of New York and three public interest
standards will save consumers money, lower
our dependence on foreign oil, and improve
our environment," said Attorney General
Rabner. "I applaud the federal energy
department for settling this matter."
According to DOE’s own estimates,
efficiency standards resulting from the
settlement may reduce energy use by as much
as 35 quadrillion BTUs over an approximately
30-year period. By comparison, all U.S.
households combined consumed 21 quadrillion
BTUs of energy in 2004. The standards also
have the potential to significantly reduce
greenhouse gases, and annual carbon dioxide
emissions could be reduced by as much as
103 million metric tons a year. That is
the equivalent of eliminating emissions
from more than 18 million cars and light
trucks from America’s roads.
In the 1980's, Congress directed the DOE
to periodically update existing efficiency
standards for a wide range of consumer products
under specific deadlines. The energy department
has consistently failed in this regard.
In September 2005, New Jersey joined a coalition
of states that sued to compel DOE to catch
up on the lapsed deadlines. The lawsuit
sought a binding schedule for the overdue
standards, and the settlement agreement
announced today provides that schedule.
The use of energy efficient appliances reduces
air pollution, global warming, and other
environmental problems associated with the
generation of electricity, while also saving
money for residential and commercial consumers.
Increased energy efficiency also improves
the reliability of the electric grid.
efficiency is the single most effective
strategy for lowering our overall energy
costs and protecting our environment,"
said Jeanne M. Fox, President of the New
Jersey Board of Public Utilities. "In
settling this matter, the federal Department
of Energy is taking the lead from the coalition
of 14 other states who are committed to
reducing our national energy use."
way to achieve cleaner air and reverse global
warming is to invest in energy efficiency,"
said New Jersey Department of Environmental
Protection Commissioner Lisa P. Jackson.
"Through this settlement, the states
are leading the way in urging the federal
government to take action to address these
pressing environmental issues."
The multi-state settlement agreement was
signed by U.S. District Court Judge John
E. Sprizzo of the Southern District of New
York. New York State and the Natural Resources
Defense Council (NRDC), a Washington, D.C.-based
environmental advocacy organization, co-founded
the coalition that sued the Department of
Energy, and played a lead role in negotiations
that settled the lawsuit. The settlement
agreement covers the following products:
Category Deadline For DOE to Publish Final
air conditioners June 2011
air conditioners and heat pumps June 2011
heaters March 2010
heaters March 2010
heating equipment March 2010
and boilers September 2007
dryers June 2011
lamp ballasts June 2011
and ovens March 2009
lamps June 2009
reflector lamps June 2009
lamps June 2009
air conditioners and heat pumps September
boilers February 2007
water heaters February 2007
motors June 2011
intensity discharge lamps June 2010
distribution transformers September 2007
motors February 2010
addition to New Jersey and New York, these
states participated in the lawsuit: California,
Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts,
New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina,
Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin. Other
parties included the NRDC, Pennsylvania
Department of Environmental Protection,
the California Energy Commission, the City
of New York, the Massachusetts Union of
Public Housing Tenants and the Texas Ratepayers
Organization to Save Energy.