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TRENTON - The bar has just been raised: New Jersey is one step closer to adopting new energy efficiency standards for major everyday appliances. A5160, sponsored by Assemblymembers DeAngelo, Conaway, and Zwicker was passed out of the Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee Wednesday afternoon. It is expected to move on to the Assembly Appropriations committee next week.
“Passing A5160 into law would ensure that we save energy, water and consumer dollars. By implementing better appliance efficiency standards, we can make meaningful progress toward reducing energy burdens, generating big savings for consumers, and cleaning the air we breathe,” said NJPIRG advocate Emma Horst-Martz in supportive testimony on Wednesday in support of the bill.
The legislation would update efficiency standards for a set of 17 household and commercial appliances such as light fixtures and showerheads. The standards have not been updated in New Jersey since 2005. If passed into law, the legislation would require products sold and installed in the state to use less energy and water than they need to operate.
This step in the right direction is good news for consumers who will benefit from $132 million a year in savings on their monthly utility bills when using appliances with the new standards in the future. This number will increase each year as more people buy and use efficient appliances, providing an even bigger benefit to low income households and people of color who often spend a higher percentage of their income on energy bills.
Using less energy in our homes and businesses will reduce emissions as well. If the new standards are passed, New Jersey would cut 178,000 metric tons of CO2 -- the equivalent of taking 72,000 cars off the road. Lowering greenhouse gas emissions will have positive health impacts on New Jerseyans for years to come.
The consumer benefits and reduction in harmful emissions prompted NJPIRG to support the legislation, alongside a broad coalition of health, safety, and environmental organizations.
NJPIRG congratulates Chairman DeAngelo and the members of the committee for passing A5160 through committee and encourages the rest of the New Jersey Legislature to move the bill forward quickly, so consumers can see the benefits as early as 2022.
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