Testimony: Energy and Water Efficiency Standards

Our testimony in support of SB 418, a bill to update applicance energy standards sponsored by Senators Pinsky, Lee, and Guzzone.

Mariah MacKenzie

SB 418 – Maryland Energy Administration – Energy and Water Efficiency Standards – Alterations

Economic Matters

Position: Favorable 


Chair Davis, Vice Chair Dumais, and members of the committee,

I am writing on behalf of Environment Maryland to support Senate Bill 418 which would set energy efficiency standards for 13 appliances and plumbing fixtures in Maryland homes and businesses. Establishing minimum efficiency standards for our appliances will save energy, reduce pollution and lower utility bills. We need your leadership to ensure that Marylands adopts these common sense standards to protect our planet, public health and our pocketbooks. 

Reducing energy waste is one of Maryland’s best weapons in the fight against global warming. From accelerating sea level rise to increasing the frequency of severe weather events, we are already seeing the impacts of climate change in our state and across the country. Using energy inefficiently only exacerbates those issues as it increases pollution in our air and water, costs Maryland citizens money and threatens our ability to repower our energy systems with 100 percent renewable sources.

One practical solution to energy waste in Maryland is to establish minimum energy efficiency standards for our appliances and plumbing fixtures to ensure that they are not needlessly wasting energy and water. Senator Paul Pinsky, Senator Susan Lee and Senator Guy Guzzone proposed Senate Bill No. 0418 which would set standards for 10 products, from air purifiers and showerheads to commercial steam cookers. 

If implemented, only appliances that meet these standards could be sold in Maryland beginning in 2022, and we would see energy savings starting in 2025. 

By 2025, SB 418 would reap the following annual benefits in Maryland:

  • It would save 130 gigawatts of electricity which is enough to power 10,000 MD homes each year.

  • It would prevent 55 thousand metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere which is the equivalent of taking 12,000 cars off of the road annually. 

  • It would save 4.2 million gallons of water which is enough to provide for 58,000 MD families each year. 

All of those annual savings would only continue to go up each consecutive year. 

Enacting appliance efficiency standards in Maryland is a commonsense opportunity to reduce energy waste and progress us towards a greener future — and it’s one that we have already started to take advantage of. We have set minimum energy-saving requirements for products from bottle-type water dispensers to commercial hot-food holding cabinets. However, we have not updated or added new appliance standards since 2007. 

We urge you to pass this bill to protect our planet, public health and our pocketbooks. It makes no sense for us to allow our appliances and plumbing fixtures to continue to needlessly waste energy. We hope that Maryland will be the next one to take advantage of the cleanest form of energy there is — the energy we never use in the first place. 


Mariah MacKenzie

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