Mass. Senate approves efficiency standards for appliances

Media Contacts
Ben Hellerstein

Former State Director, Environment Massachusetts

Environment Massachusetts

Boston – Household and commercial appliances would use less energy and water, saving money for consumers and reducing impacts on the environment, under a bill passed today by the Massachusetts Senate.

The Energy SAVE Act (S.2478) would set efficiency standards for new faucets, showerheads, commercial dishwashers and ovens, and a dozen other products. These standards are expected to reduce Massachusetts’ annual carbon emissions by 271,000 metric tons by 2035, equivalent to taking 57,000 cars off the road, and cut water consumption by 9.8 billion gallons per year.

“Appliance efficiency standards are a sensible way to improve the health of people and the planet,” said Ben Hellerstein, State Director for Environment Massachusetts. “By reducing the amount of unnecessary energy wasted by common products, we can take a big bite out of pollution. I commend Senate President Spilka, Senator Rodrigues, and Senator Barrett for bringing this important legislation up for a vote.”

“These standards will provide Massachusetts consumers significant pocketbook savings, and will thus make energy bills more affordable for struggling low-income families,” noted Charlie Harak, senior attorney at the National Consumer Law Center. “The savings from efficient faucets and showerheads are the largest in this bill, yet those more efficient fixtures are no more expensive for consumers to buy.” 

The Energy SAVE Act was introduced by Senator Jason Lewis. A companion bill (H.2832), filed by Representative Josh Cutler, is pending in the House of Representatives.

The new efficiency standards will reduce utility bills by a projected $282 million in 2035.

With the Trump administration escalating its attacks on federal appliance efficiency standards, advocates said that setting strong standards at the state level is more important than ever.

“If there ever were a perfect moment for states to adopt standards, now is that time,” said Marianne DiMascio, state policy manager for the Appliance Standards Awareness Project. “The Trump administration has missed 21 deadlines for federal appliance standards, rolled back light bulb standards, made the federal standard-setting process more cumbersome and is poised to weaken dishwasher efficiency standards and to allow industry the ability to grant themselves waivers from testing.” 

Along with the legislation pending in Massachusetts, bills have been or are likely to be filed in Connecticut, Maine, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and the District of Columbia.  In 2018 and 2019, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, Vermont, and Washington adopted state appliance standards.